Neuropsychological differentiation of depression and anxiety JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY Keller, J., Nitschke, J. B., Bhargava, T., Deldin, P. J., Gergen, J. A., Miller, G. A., Heller, W. 2000; 109 (1): 3-10


The high comorbidity of depression and anxiety is well established empirically but not well understood conceptually, in terms of either psychological or biological mechanisms. A neuropsychological model of regional brain activity in emotion provides contrasting hypotheses for depression and anxiety, with depression associated with a relative decrease and anxiety with a relative increase in right-posterior activity. These hypotheses received support in a comparison of individuals diagnosed with depression and community controls, and also in a separate study of nonpatients administered a measure of perceptual asymmetry. Hierarchical regressions revealed that depression and anxiety were uniquely and jointly associated with perceptual asymmetry. In light of consistent empirical support for the model, implications for conceptualizations of the comorbidity of depression and anxiety are discussed.

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