Effects of the serotonin transporter polymorphism and history of major depression on overgeneral autobiographical memory

Jennifer A. Sumner, Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Susan Mineka, Richard E. Zinbarg, Michelle G. Craske, Eva E. Redei, Kate Wolitzky-Taylor, Emma K. Adam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is a key memory deficit in major depressive disorder (MDD). Much research has examined cognitive mechanisms underlying OGM, but little work has investigated potential neurobiological influences. There is preliminary evidence that a genetic serotonergic vulnerability coupled with depressive symptoms may be associated with other memory impairments, and experimental research suggests a role for serotonin in OGM. We investigated whether a polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) was associated with OGM in interaction with a lifetime history of MDD in 370 young adults in a longitudinal study of risk for emotional disorders. There was a significant interaction between 5-HTTLPR genotype and lifetime history of MDD in predicting OGM. Among S allele homozygotes, MDD history was associated with greater OGM, whereas no significant relationship between MDD history and OGM emerged among L carriers. Furthermore, there was evidence that a greater number of S alleles were associated with greater memory specificity in individuals without a history of MDD. Implications for understanding cognitive and biological risk for depression are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-958
Number of pages12
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • 5-HTTLPR
  • Autobiographical memory specificity
  • Depression
  • Genetic association
  • Overgeneral autobiographical memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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