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Letters   |    
Mild Depressive Symptoms are Associated With Enhanced Affective Theory of Mind in Nonclinical Adult Women
Michele Poletti, Psy.D.; Alessandro Sonnoli, Psy.D.; Ubaldo Bonuccelli, M.D.
The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2014;26:E63-E64. doi:10.1176/appi.neuropsych.13060123
View Author and Article Information

The authors report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Dept. of Neuroscience, University of Pisa, Italy

Versilia Hospital, USL12 Toscana, Viareggio, Italy

Dept. of Neuroscience, University of Pisa, Italy

Send correspondence to Dr. Bonuccelli; e-mail: u.bonuccelli@med.unipi.it

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association

Extract

To the Editor: How do affective characteristics influence theory of mind (ToM), (i.e., the ability to ascribe mental states to others)? Major depression may impair the inference of others’ feelings1 (i.e., affective ToM), but in nonclinical subjects, mild levels of depression and anxiety may counterintuitively enhance this ability.2

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References

Lee  L;  Harkness  KL;  Sabbagh  MA  et al:  Mental state decoding abilities in clinical depression.  J Affect Disord 2005; 86:247–258
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Harkness  K;  Sabbagh  M;  Jacobson  J  et al:  Enhanced accuracy of mental state decoding in dysphoric college students.  Cogn Emotion 2005; 19:999–1025
[CrossRef]
 
Baron-Cohen  S;  Wheelwright  S;  Hill  J  et al:  The “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” Test revised version: a study with normal adults, and adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism.  J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2001; 42:241–251
[CrossRef] | [PubMed]
 
McClure  EB:  A meta-analytic review of sex differences in facial expression processing and their development in infants, children, and adolescents.  Psychol Bull 2000; 126:424–453
[CrossRef] | [PubMed]
 
Weary  G;  Edwards  JA:  Social cognition and clinical psychology: anxiety, depression and the processing of social information, in  Handbook of social cognition . Edited by Wyer  RS Jr, Srull  TK.  Hillsdale, NJ,  Erlbaum, 1994, pp 289–338
 
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