Depression is associated with reduced declarative memory performance and decreased hippocampal volume. Depression has also been associated with decreased levels of adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Computational models propose that neurogenesis is critical for the computational process of pattern separation, whereby distinct memory representations are created for very similar stimuli and events. It has been proposed that depression negatively impacts pattern separation abilities; however, a link between depression and performance in pattern separation memory tasks has yet to be investigated. Accordingly, we designed a study to investigate the relationship between pattern separation performance and the severity of depression symptoms. Participants completed a recognition memory test with high pattern separation demands as well as a set of questionnaires to gauge their level of depression. We found a negative relationship between depression scores and pattern separation scores in support of the theory that depression is negatively related to pattern separation performance.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Shelton, Don J., "Mood and Memory: An Association Between Pattern Separation and Depression" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 3914.
depression, pattern separation, neurogenesis, mood disorders