Genetics and personality affect visual perspective in autobiographical memory

Consciousness and Cognition 18 (3):823-830 (2009)
Abstract
Major depression is associated with a decrease of 1st person visual perspective in autobiographical memory, even after full remission. This study aimed to examine visual perspective in healthy never-depressed subjects presenting with either genetic or psychological vulnerability for depression. Sixty healthy participants performed the Autobiographical Memory Test with an assessment of visual perspective. Genetic vulnerability was defined by the presence of at least one S or LG allele of the polymorphism of the serotonin-transporter-linked promoter region . Psychological vulnerability was defined by high scores of harm avoidance measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory. Life stress exposure, depressive mood, rumination, and familial history of depression were assessed through standardized procedures. Visual perspective for positive memories was independently predicted by both harm avoidance and a gene by environment interaction between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and life stress exposure. Visual perspective and vulnerability for depression may share some biological bases
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