Emotional conflict resolution in healthy and depressed populations

Başgöze, Zeynep
Conflict resolution is essential for human cognitive system which renders adaptability to the environment, providing humans to fulfill daily activities. The main aim of this thesis is to create a task where the conflict activates emotional networks exclusively, while investigating how the cognitive and emotional conflicts are monitored and then resolved in the brain. After creating the appropriate material composed of controlled words in terms of emotional dimensions and concreteness values, a new Word-face Stroop Task is designed using Turkish words. Firstly subjects participated in a classical Stroop task to measure cognitive conflict and then in the Word-face Stroop task, the conflict between “emotional” words and “emotional” faces is investigated. The same Stroop tasks are then administered to depression patients. The results of the classical Stroop replicated the previous findings: (1) Healthy population was slower in responding to incongruent cases than congruent cases (2) Depressed patients were significantly slower than healthy population. The Word-face Stroop, conducted on healthy population also replicated the earlier findings: (1) People were slower in reacting to incongruent stimuli than congruent stimuli (2) People reacted faster to positive words than negative ones. Same Stroop tasks conducted on depressed patients however revealed interesting results, novel to the literature: (1) Congruency scores were significantly different when healthy population and Depressive Disorder patients with Hamilton scores higher than 20 were compared (2) Patients with Hamilton scores higher than 20 and lower than 20 significantly differed in congruency scores (3) Patients showed a tendency to react faster to incongruent stimuli rather than congruent stimuli, contrary to normal population (4) Normal population showed greater congruency effect in positively valenced abstract words, whereas depression patients showed greater congruency effect in negatively valenced concrete words.


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Citation Formats
Z. Başgöze, “Emotional conflict resolution in healthy and depressed populations,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2008.