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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10802-011-9587-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Studies of adults with depression point to characteristic neurocognitive deficits, including differences in processing facial expressions. Few studies have examined face processing in juvenile depression, or taken account of other comorbid disorders. Three groups were compared: depressed children and adolescents with conduct disorder (n = 23), depressed children and adolescents without conduct disorder (n = 29) and children and adolescents without disorder (n = 37). A novel face emotion processing experiment presented faces with ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘angry’, or ‘fearful’ expressions of varying emotional intensity using morphed stimuli. Those with depression showed no overall or specific deficits in facial expression recognition accuracy. Instead, they showed biases affecting processing of low-intensity expressions, more often perceiving these as sad. In contrast, non-depressed controls more often misperceived low intensity negative emotions as happy. There were no differences between depressed children and adolescents with and without conduct disorder, or between children with comorbid depression/conduct disorder and controls. Face emotion processing biases rather than deficits appear to distinguish depressed from non-depressed children and adolescents.
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- Face Emotion Processing in Depressed Children and Adolescents with and without Comorbid Conduct Disorder
- Springer US