A1 Journal article (refereed)
Event-related potentials to task-irrelevant sad faces as a state marker of depression (2020)

Ruohonen, E. M., Alhainen, V., & Astikainen, P. (2020). Event-related potentials to task-irrelevant sad faces as a state marker of depression. Biological Psychology, 149, Article 107806. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.107806

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Ruohonen, Elisa M.; Alhainen, Veera; Astikainen, Piia

Journal or series: Biological Psychology

ISSN: 0301-0511

eISSN: 1873-6246

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 149

Article number: 107806

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.107806

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66388


Negative bias in face processing has been demonstrated in depression, but there are no longitudinal investigations of negative bias in symptom reduction. We recorded event-related potentials (P1 and N170) to task-irrelevant facial expressions in depressed participants who were later provided with a psychological intervention and in never depressed control participants. Follow-up measurements were conducted for the depressed group two and 39 months later. Negative bias was found specifically in the depression group, and was demonstrated as enlarged P1 amplitude to sad faces, which normalized in the follow-up measurements when the participants had fewer symptoms. Because the P1 amplitude recorded at the baseline did not differ between the depression group that recovered and the group that did not recover after the intervention, this brain response did not show potential as a biomarker for treatment response. It could have potential, however, to serve as a state-marker of depression.

Keywords: depression (mental disorders); face; facial expressions; brain research; cognitive neuroscience; diagnosis; intervention

Free keywords: depression; ERP; negative bias; N170; P1; preattentive face processing

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:12