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1.  SenseCam, imagery and bias in memory for wellbeing 
Memory (Hove, England)  2011;19(7):768-777.
Identifying and modifying the negative interpretation bias that characterises depression is central to successful treatment. While accumulating evidence indicates that mental imagery is particularly effective in the modification of emotional bias, this research typically incorporates static and unrelated ambiguous stimuli. SenseCam technology, and the resulting video-like footage, offers an opportunity to produce training stimuli that are dynamic and self-relevant. Here participants experienced several ambiguous tasks and subsequently viewed SenseCam footage of the same tasks, paired with negative or positive captions. Participants were trained to use mental imagery to inter-relate SenseCam footage and captions. Participants reported increased levels of happy mood, reduced levels of sad mood, and increased task enjoyment following SenseCam review with positive versus negative captions. This shift in emotional bias was also evident at 24-hour follow-up, as participants recollected greater task enjoyment for those tasks previously paired with positive captions. Mental imagery appears to play an important role in this process. These preliminary results indicate that in healthy volunteers, SenseCam can be used within a bias modification paradigm to shift mood and memory for wellbeing associated with performing everyday activities. Further refinements are necessary before similar methods can be applied to individuals suffering from subclinical and clinical depression.
doi:10.1080/09658211.2010.551130
PMCID: PMC3534350  PMID: 21416451
SenseCam; Cognitive bias modification; Emotion; Mental imagery
2.  Disgust Enhances the Recollection of Negative Emotional Images 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e26571.
Memory is typically better for emotional relative to neutral images, an effect generally considered to be mediated by arousal. However, this explanation cannot explain the full pattern of findings in the literature. Two experiments are reported that investigate the differential effects of categorical affective states upon emotional memory and the contributions of stimulus dimensions other than pleasantness and arousal to any memory advantage. In Experiment 1, disgusting images were better remembered than equally unpleasant frightening ones, despite the disgusting images being less arousing. In Experiment 2, regression analyses identified affective impact – a factor shown previously to influence the allocation of visual attention and amygdala response to negative emotional images – as the strongest predictor of remembering. These findings raise significant issues that the arousal account of emotional memory cannot readily address. The term impact refers to an undifferentiated emotional response to a stimulus, without requiring detailed consideration of specific dimensions of image content. We argue that ratings of impact relate to how the self is affected. The present data call for further consideration of the theoretical specifications of the mechanisms that lead to enhanced memory for emotional stimuli and their neural substrates.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026571
PMCID: PMC3217922  PMID: 22110588
3.  Recognition memory for pictorial material in subclinical depression 
Acta Psychologica  2010;135(3):293-301.
Depression has been associated with impaired recollection of episodic details in tests of recognition memory that use verbal material. In two experiments, the remember/know procedure was employed to investigate the effects of dysphoric mood on recognition memory for pictorial materials that may not be subject to the same processing limitations found for verbal materials in depression. In Experiment 1, where the recognition test took place two weeks after encoding, subclinically depressed participants reported fewer know judgements which were likely to be at least partly due to a remember-to-know shift. Although pictures were accompanied by negative or neutral captions at encoding, no effect of captions on recognition memory was observed. In Experiment 2, where the recognition test occurred soon after viewing the pictures, subclinically depressed participants reported fewer remember judgements. All participants reported more remember judgements for pictures of emotionally negative content than pictures of neutral content. Together, these findings demonstrate that recognition memory for pictorial stimuli is compromised in dysphoric individuals in a way that is consistent with a recollection deficit for episodic detail and also reminiscent of that previously reported for verbal materials. These findings contribute to our developing understanding of how mood and memory interact.
doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.07.015
PMCID: PMC2994638  PMID: 20728865
Depression; Memory; Emotion; Recollection; Familiarity
4.  Assessing the automaticity of moral processing: Efficient coding of moral information during narrative comprehension 
A long-standing theoretical debate concerns the involvement of principled reasoning versus relatively automatic intuitive-emotional processing in moral cognition. To address this, we investigated whether the mental models formed during story comprehension contain a moral dimension and whether this process is affected by cognitive load. A total of 72 participants read stories about fictional characters in a range of moral situations, such as a husband being tempted to commit adultery. Each story concluded with a “moral” or “immoral” target sentence. Consistent with a framework of efficient extraction of moral information, participants took significantly longer to read immoral than moral target sentences. Moreover, the magnitude of this effect was not compromised by cognitive load. Our findings provide evidence of efficient coding of moral dimensions during narrative comprehension and demonstrate that this process does not require cognitively intense forms of principled reasoning.
doi:10.1080/17470210802254441
PMCID: PMC2645138  PMID: 18720279
Moral cognition; Mental models; Efficiency; Automaticity; Cognitive effort
5.  Exploring the basis and boundary conditions of SenseCam-facilitated recollection 
Memory (Hove, England)  2011;19(7):758-767.
SenseCam review has been shown to promote and sustain subsequent access to memories that might otherwise remain inaccessible. While SenseCam review facilitates recollection for personally experienced events, we know little about the boundary conditions under which this operates and about how underlying processing mechanisms can be optimally recruited to offset memory impairments of the sort that occur in dementia. This paper considers some of these issues with a view to targeting future research that not only clarifies our evolving body of theory about how memory works, but also informs about how memory-assistive technologies for patients might be employed to maximal effect. We begin by outlining key factors that are known to influence recollection. We then examine variability in the decline of memory function both in normal ageing and in dementia. Attention is drawn to similarities in the recollection deficits associated with depression and dementia, and we suggest that this may reflect shared underlying mechanisms. We conclude by discussing how one particular theoretical rationale can be intersected with key SenseCam capabilities to define priorities for ongoing and future SenseCam research.
doi:10.1080/09658211.2010.533180
PMCID: PMC3534351  PMID: 21995710
SenseCam; Recollection; Dementia; Depression

Results 1-5 (5)