Training to Inhibit Negative Content Affects Memory and Rumination

Shimrit Daches, Nilly Mor, Paula Hertel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Depressive rumination, the tendency to engage in repetitive self-focus in response to distress, seems to be affected by a variety of cognitive biases that in turn maintain negative emotional states. The current study examined whether the difficulty in inhibiting attention to negative information contributes to rumination and to rumination-related biases in memory. Seventy-nine ruminators underwent a 3-week computer-based training, designed to increase either inhibition of negative words or attention to them. On immediate post-training trials, as well as on 2-week follow-up tests, we found evidence for transfer of inhibition training. Training effects also occurred on session-by-session and post-training measures of state rumination, but not on a measure of trait rumination, assessed 2 weeks later. Finally, participants who were trained to inhibit negative material subsequently showed less negative bias on a memory test. These findings further establish the causal role of biased inhibition in rumination, and substantiate the view of rumination as a habit that encourages people to perceive, interpret, and remember events in a repetitive self-focused manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1027
Number of pages10
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cognitive-bias modification
  • Depression
  • Inhibition
  • Memory
  • Rumination


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