An ERP study of multidimensional source retrieval in depression

Biol Psychol. 2018 Feb;132:176-191. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2018.01.001. Epub 2018 Jan 3.


We collected event-related potentials (ERPs) from 24 unmedicated adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 24 controls during source memory retrieval. Words were encoded on the left or right during animacy and mobility judgments. Mobility judgments were slower than animacy judgments, suggesting deeper encoding. Participants then recalled the encoding judgment (Question cue) and position (Side cue) for each word. Depressed adults, but not controls, showed better accuracy for words from the mobility task presented under the Question vs. Side Cue. Furthermore, depressed adults showed larger left parietal ERPs to words from the mobility task presented under the Question vs. the Side Cue from 400 to 800 ms and 800-1400 ms. This ERP effect was negatively correlated with sleep quality. Thus, deep encoding followed by retrieval of the encoding judgment supported memory in MDD and augmented left parietal ERPs that have been linked to recollection and that appear sensitive to sleep disturbance.

Keywords: Depression; ERP; Recollection; Retrieval; Source memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cues
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Young Adult