Objectives. Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses and is associated with changes in emotion processing. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of depressive symptoms on EEG oscillatory dynamics accompanying implicit processing of angry and happy facial expressions in 46 healthy subjects.
Methods. The Beck Depression Inventory was used to assess the presence of depressive symptoms in normal subjects. During the experiment, they were told to categorize the gender of angry, neutral, or happy faces presented to them, while high-resolution EEG was recorded. Analysis of the event-related spectral perturbations and the analysis of dipoles were carried out on EEG recordings using the EEGLAB toolbox.
Results. High depression (HD) and low depression (LD) groups did not differ on error rate and reaction time during categorization of gender. The perception of happy faces was accompanied by higher theta synchronization in the LD than the HD group. In contrast, theta synchronization was higher in the HD than the LD group during perception of angry faces.
Conclusion. These findings imply that even at preclinical stages, HD scorers evidence increased emotional arousal to negative and decreased emotional arousal to positive stimuli during implicit emotion processing. (C) 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.