Diminished response to pleasant stimuli by depressed women

Denise M. Sloan*, Milton E. Strauss, Katherine L. Wisner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


This study examined the self-report and facial expressions of emotional response to pictorial stimuli and the incidental learning of pleasant and unpleasant words by depressed (n = 20) and nondepressed (n = 20) women. Depression was associated with reports of diminished emotional response and reduced frequency and intensity of facial expressions only to pleasant stimuli. The 2 groups did not differ in response to hedonically unpleasant stimuli, even those specifically relevant to the emotion of sadness. In a similar vein, depressed and nondepressed participants showed differences in incidental recall for only pleasant self-referential terms. There was no difference in recall of unpleasant words. These findings suggest the importance of hedonic deficits on psychological processes in clinical depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-493
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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