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Grewe P.,Bielefeld University | Grewe P.,Bethel Epilepsy Center | Ohmann H.A.,Bielefeld University | Ohmann H.A.,Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel Ev. | And 3 more authors.
Cognitive Processing

Several authors pointed out that left-right discrimination (LRD) tasks may be entangled with differential demands on mental rotation (MR). However, studies considering this interrelationship are rare. To differentially assess LRD of stimuli with varying additional demands on MR, we constructed and evaluated an extended version of the Bergen right-left discrimination (BRLD) test including additional subtests with inverted stickmen stimuli in 174 healthy participants (50♂, 124♀) and measured subjective reports on participants' strategies to accomplish the task. Moreover, we analyzed practice effects and reliable change indices (RCIs) on BRLD performance, as well as gender differences. Performance significantly differed between subtests with high and low demands on MR with best scores on subtests with low demands on MR. Participants' subjective strategies corroborate these results: MR was most frequently reported for subtests with highest MR demands (and lowest test performance). Pronounced practice effects were observed for all subtests. Sex differences were not observed. We conclude that our extended version of the BRLD allows for the differentiation between LRD with high and low demands on MR abilities. The type of stimulus materials is likely to be critical for the differential assessment of MR and LRD. Moreover, RCIs provide a basis for the clinical application of the BRLD. © 2013 Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag. Source

Beblo T.,Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel Ev. | Beblo T.,Bielefeld University | Mensebach C.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Wingenfeld K.,Franklin University | And 3 more authors.
BMC Psychiatry

Background: It is still a matter of debate as to whether patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) suffer from memory deficits. Existing studies indicate no or small impairments in memory test performance. However, it was shown in patients with related disorders, such as depression, that self-reported impairment exceeds test malfunction. In the present study we assessed memory performance of BPD patients through the use of memory tests and a questionnaire for subjective memory complaints (SMC) in everyday life. Methods: Thirty-two patients with BPD and 32 healthy control subjects were included in the study. The groups of subjects were comparable with respect to age, education, and gender. Subjects completed verbal and nonverbal memory tests, as well as the everyday memory questionnaire (EMQ). Results: BPD patients reported severe SMC but did not show memory test impairment. The results remained stable even when all BPD patients with acute or lifetime depression comorbidity were excluded from analyses. In both groups, SMC and test performances were not related but in BPD patients SMC were related to BPD symptoms. Conclusions: Our data indicate memory impairment of BPD patients in everyday life. However, it cannot be ruled out that increased memory complaints result from patients' negative self-perception. Future research needs to clarify the reasons for memory complaints of BPD patients. © 2014 Beblo et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Fridrici C.,Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel Ev. | Driessen M.,Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel Ev. | Driessen M.,Bielefeld University | Wingenfeld K.,Franklin University | And 4 more authors.
Psychiatry Research

This study aimed to investigate attentional and memory biases in alcohol-dependents with and without major depression compared to healthy controls. We assumed that both groups of alcohol-dependents would show attentional and memory biases for alcohol-related words. For the alcohol-dependents with depression, we additionally expected both types of biases for negative words. Alcohol-dependents without co-morbidity (Alc) and alcohol-dependents with major depression (D-Alc) as well as control participants with a moderate consumption of alcohol (Con) completed an alcohol Stroop task and a directed forgetting paradigm using word stimuli from three categories: neutral, negative, and alcohol-related. Stroop effects showed that not only alcohol-dependents but also control participants were more distracted by alcohol-related than by negative words. In the directed forgetting procedure, all participants showed a significant effect for each word-category, including alcohol-related and negative words. The D-Alc-group memorized more alcohol-related than negative to-be-remembered words. The results do not corroborate the hypothesis of more pronounced attentional and memory biases in alcohol-dependents. However, in alcohol-dependents with depression a memory bias for alcohol-related material was found, suggesting that this group may be more pre-occupied with alcohol than patients without such co-morbidity. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Beblo T.,Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel Ev. | Beblo T.,Bielefeld University | Fernando S.,Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel Ev. | Klocke S.,Bielefeld University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Affective Disorders

Background: Patients with major depression (MDD) show increased suppression of negative emotions. Emotion suppression is related to depressive symptoms such as depressive mood and anhedonia. It is not clear whether MDD patients also suppress positive emotions. In the present study we aim to investigate suppression of both negative and positive emotions in MDD patients as well as the relation between emotion suppression and depressive symptoms. In addition, we suggest that emotion suppression might be associated with fear of emotions. Methods: 39 MDD patients and 41 matched healthy control subjects were investigated for emotion suppression and fear of emotions with the Emotion Acceptance Questionnaire (EAQ). In addition, we applied additional questionnaires to validate emotion suppression findings and to assess depressive symptoms. Results: MDD patients reported increased suppression of both negative and positive emotions. Suppression of negative and positive emotions was related to depressive symptoms. Patients also reported more fear of emotions than healthy subjects and this fear was related to emotion suppression in both study samples. Limitations: Due to the cross-sectional and correlational study design, causal directions between the variables tested cannot be stated. Conclusions: Fear of emotion might be one reason why MDD patients suppress emotions. With regard to positive emotions, our results strongly suggest that therapeutic approaches should not only encourage patients to participate in potentially enjoyable situations but that patients may also benefit from practicing the allowance of pleasant emotions. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Carvalho Fernando S.,Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel Ev. | Beblo T.,Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel Ev. | Schlosser N.,Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel Ev. | Terfehr K.,University of Hamburg | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

Early life stress is said to play a critical role in the development of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and major depressive disorder (MDD), but the underlying mediating factors remain uncertain. This study aimed to investigate self-reported childhood trauma, emotion regulation difficulties, and their associations in a sample of BPD (n = 49) and MDD (n = 48) patients and healthy control participants (n = 63). Multiple regressions were used to evaluate the impact of the quality and severity of self-reported childhood trauma on self-reported emotion regulation. The results supported an association between self-reported maltreatment experiences, especially emotional abuse and neglect, and emotion regulation difficulties. Additional analyses showed that emotion regulation difficulties influence the association between self-reported emotional abuse and acute symptomatology in the BPD subgroup. Emotion regulation difficulties may be 1 pathway through which early life stress, particularly emotional abuse, increases the risk for developing BPD symptomatology. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

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