Attention and memory biases in social anxiety disorder: The role of comorbid depression

Joelle LeMoult, Jutta Joormann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Cognitive biases play an important role in the onset and maintenance of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Few studies, however, have examined the role of comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in the processing of emotional material. In addition, little is known about the relation among different cognitive biases. In the current study, 73 participants (54.79% female) completed an emotion face dot-probe task followed by a recognition memory test. Compared to participants with SAD, participants with comorbid SAD and MDD oriented away from supraliminally presented angry faces. Subsequently, SAD participants with and without comorbidity recognized fewer angry faces than non-disordered controls. Furthermore, attention biases for subliminally presented stimuli predicted recognition accuracy only for comorbid participants. These results suggest that the presence of comorbid MDD affects attentional orienting in SAD participants. In addition, it highlights the interconnectedness of attention and memory biases for comorbid participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention bias
  • Comorbidity
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Memory bias
  • Social anxiety disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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