A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Review of abnormal self-knowledge in major depressive disorder (2019)

Lou, Y., Lei, Y., Mei, Y., Leppänen, P. H., & Li, H. (2019). Review of abnormal self-knowledge in major depressive disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, Article 130. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00130

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Lou, Yixue; Lei, Yi; Mei, Ying; Leppänen, Paavo H.T.; Li, Hong

Journal or series: Frontiers in Psychiatry

ISSN: 1664-0640

eISSN: 1664-0640

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 10

Issue number: 0

Article number: 130

Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00130

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/63477


Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is an affective disorder that is harmful to both physical and mental health. Abnormal self-knowledge, which refers to abnormal judgments about oneself, is a core symptom of depression. However, little research has summarized how and why patients with MDD differ from healthy individuals in terms of self-knowledge.

Objective: To gain a better understanding of MDD, we reviewed previous studies that focused on the behavioral and neurological changes of self-knowledge in this illness.

Main Findings: On the behavioral level, depressed individuals exhibited negative self-knowledge in an explicit way, while more heterogeneous patterns were reported in implicit results. On the neurological level, depressed individuals, as compared with non-depressed controls, showed abnormal self-referential processing in both early perception and higher cognitive processing phases during the Self-Referential Encoding Task. Furthermore, fMRI studies have reported aberrant activity in the medial prefrontal cortex area for negative self-related items in depression. These results revealed several behavioral features and brain mechanisms underlying abnormal self-knowledge in depression.

Future Studies: The neural mechanism of implicit self-knowledge in MDD remains unclear. Future research should examine the importance of others' attitudes on the self-concept of individuals with MDD, and whether abnormal self-views may be modified through cognitive or pharmacological approaches. In addition, differences in abnormal self-knowledge due to genetic variation between depressed and non-depressed populations remain unconfirmed. Importantly, it remains unknown whether abnormal self-knowledge could be used as a specific marker to distinguish healthy individuals from those with MDD.

Conclusion: This review extends our understanding of the relationship between self-knowledge and depression by indicating several abnormalities among individuals with MDD and those who are at risk for this illness.

Keywords: depression (mental disorders); self-knowledge; behaviour disorders; neurology

Free keywords: major depressive disorder; abnormality; behavioral abnormality; neurological abnormality

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-10-11 at 16:16