The interactive effect of negative reversal learning and age on depression: Possible cognitive mechanisms underlying the elevated depressive symptoms in older adults

Levy-Gigi, E.

The present study aimed to test possible cognitive mechanisms that may underlie the elevated depressive symptoms in older adults. One hundred forty-one individuals (ages 32-85) with no evidence of general cognitive impairments were tested on a novel reversal paradigm and underwent clinical interviews to assess levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms. The authors found that oldest-older adults have a selective impairment in reversal learning from negative to positive. This impairment interacted with age to predict levels of depressive symptoms. The results suggest possible cognitive mechanisms that link between impaired ability to reverse negative outcomes and elevated depressive symptoms in older age.

Last Updated Date : 08/04/2019