Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
02/03/2011
Date assigned
23/03/2011
Last edited
12/12/2014
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Completed
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Not provided at time of registration

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Prof Marcus Munafo

ORCID ID

Contact details

School of Experimental Psychology
University of Bristol
12a Priory Road
Bristol
BS8 1TU
United Kingdom
+44 (0)11 7954 6841
marcus.munafo@bristol.ac.uk

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

1434

Study information

Scientific title

Effects of emotion perception training on mood in undergraduate students: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Acronym

Study hypothesis

Previous research suggests that people with major depression have a distorted negative view of their surroundings. When compared to healthy controls, for example, they interpret ambiguous or neutral faces as being sad (Beck, 1967; Bouhuys et al., 1999; Leppanen et al., 2004; Naranjo et al., 2011). It has been proposed that this deficit in social perception may play an important causal role in maintaining depression, creating a vicious cycle in which the world is perceived largely negatively, increasing negative affect.

Our pilot work has indicated that it is possible to ‘retrain’ how individuals perceive emotional expression. When viewing computer generated ‘morph sequences’ that run from one emotion to another (where intermediate expressions are ambiguous), individuals see a change from one emotion to another somewhere in the middle. Training changes the point at which an ambiguous expression changes from perceived as happy to being perceived as sad. So, a face that was perceived by a participant as sad before training is perceived as happy after training.

We therefore hypothesise that the experimental modification of emotion perception, designed to induce a shift towards perceiving happiness instead of sadness, will reduce depressive symptomatology.

Ethics approval

University of Bristol Faculty of Science Research Ethics Committee approved on 28/10/10 (ref: 211010468)

Study design

Double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Other

Trial type

Treatment

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the conatct details below to request a patient information sheet

Condition

Depression / depressed mood

Intervention

Emotion recognition training versus control.

This is a computer-based intervention which presents faces on a sad to happy morph sequence. Participants have to judge the emotion of the face presented.

Feedback (informing participants whether they have made a correct or incorrect judgement) is used to train the participants after baseline measures of emotion perception have been taken.

Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups
1. Treatment (in which we attempt to change the perception of emotion)
2. Control (in which feedback reflects their baseline performance – i.e. makes no attempt to change their perception of emotion)

Intervention type

Behavioural

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Beck Depression Inventory ii (BDI-ii) score- Beck, A.T., Steer, R.A., & Brown, G.K. (1996), Manual for Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). San Antonio, TX, Psychology Corporation.

Outcomes are measured immediately after the training week, at one-week follow-up and at two-week follow-up.

Secondary outcome measures

Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) score:

Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070.

Outcomes are measured immediately after the training week, at one-week follow-up and at two-week follow-up.

Overall trial start date

01/01/2011

Overall trial end date

31/12/2011

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Participants will be undergraduate students from the University of Bristol who are identified as showing higher than average levels of negative mood by scoring 14 or more on the Beck Depression Inventory ii (BDI-ii) via an online baseline screening questionnaire.
2. We anticipate that we will also identify students who have a history of depression. We will not be excluding these participants, but their data will be collected for secondary analysis.
3. Participants will be required to have normal or corrected-to-normal vision.

Participant type

Patient

Age group

Adult

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

80 participants (40 experimental, 40 control) will be recruited

Participant exclusion criteria

1. A score lower than 14 on the BDI-ii,
2. Current use of any illicit drugs (except cannabis)
3. Under 18 years of age or over 40 years of age

Recruitment start date

01/01/2011

Recruitment end date

31/12/2011

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University of Bristol
Bristol
BS8 1TU
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

University of Bristol (UK)

Sponsor details

Research Governance Officer
c/o Anna Brooke
Research and Enterprise Development
University of Bristol
Senate House
Tyndall Avenue
Bristol
BS8 1TH
United Kingdom
+44 (0)11 7331 7709
anna.brooke@bristol.ac.uk

Sponsor type

Not defined

Website

Funders

Funder type

University/education

Funder name

University of Bristol (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

academic

Location

United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

2012 results in: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22539781

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes