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Data from: The influence of depression on cognitive control: disambiguating approach and avoidance tendencies

Citation

Huang, He; Movellan, Javier; Paulus, Martin P.; Harlé, Katia M. (2016), Data from: The influence of depression on cognitive control: disambiguating approach and avoidance tendencies, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.78dg8

Abstract

Dysfunctions of approach and avoidance motivation play an important role in depression, which in turn may affect cognitive control, i.e., the ability to regulate thoughts and action to achieve internal goals. We use a novel experimental paradigm, i.e. a computer simulated driving-task, to study the impact of depression on cognitive control by measuring approach and avoidance actions in continuous time. In this task, 39 subjects with minimal to severe depression symptoms were instructed to use a joystick to move a virtual car as quickly as possible to a target point without crossing a stop-sign or crashing into a wall. We recorded their continuous actions on a joystick and found that depression 1) leads to further stopping distance to task target; and 2) increases the magnitude of late deceleration (avoidance) but not early acceleration (approach), which was only observed in the stop-sign condition. Taken together, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that depressed individuals have greater avoidance motivation near stopping target, but are minimally affected by approach motivation.

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