• First episode MDD;
  • depression;
  • cognitive function;
  • experimental paradigm;
  • information processing;
  • visual search

Hammar, Å., Kildal, A. B. & Schmid, M. (2012). Information processing in patients with first episode major depression. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 53, 445–449.

Few studies have investigated cognitive functioning in a group of patients experiencing a first episode of depression. The aim of this study was to investigate how patients diagnosed with a first episode of depression perform in effortful and non-effortful information processing compared to healthy controls. An experimental paradigm based on a visual search test was applied. Thirty-one patients and thirty-one healthy controls were included in the study. All patients experienced a severe level of symptom load at the time of testing. Results showed no significant differences between groups under any of the conditions. Findings in the present study indicate that patients with a first episode of depression perform equally to healthy controls in tasks requiring visual attention in both effortful and non-effortful information processing.