One of NijCa²re’s research lines focuses on the factors that cause and maintain (major) depressive disorders. Cognitive theories suggest that cognitive processes, such as involved in attention, interpretation and memory, are important mechanisms in the aetiology and persistence of (major) depression. Individuals experiencing a depressive episode tend to predominantly direct their attention to information that is consistent with their depressive mood (e.g. newspaper items reporting negative news), to interpret information negatively (e.g. by construing a well-meant email message as hurtful) and to remember information about negative events best (e.g. memories of adverse life events).
In view of these assumed underlying mechanisms, NijCa²re researchers aim to answer the following questions: To what extent do cognitive processes play a role in the aetiology (development) of depression? Do such processes create a vulnerabilitythat prevents some people from benefiting (sufficiently) from treatment? Can cognitive biases (disrupted cognitive functions) be modified by education and training?