Cognitive processes in depression

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981 Jan;38(1):42-7. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780260044004.


During depressive episodes, patients show both qualitative and quantitative changes in how information is processed. Depressed patients appear to use weak or incomplete encoding strategies to organize and transform events to be remembered. This makes these events less memorable. If the depressed patient is provided organization and structure, then learning-memory deficits are not apparent. Disruptions in arousal-activation in depression can account for these cognitive impairments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged