Modulating speed-accuracy strategies in major depression

Antonino Vallesi, Francesca Canalaz, Matteo Balestrieri, Paolo Brambilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


METHODS: Patients suffering from major depression and age- and education-matched healthy controls were asked to randomly stress either speed or accuracy during perceptual decision-making.

RESULTS: Diffusion models showed that patients with depression kept using a less conservative strategy after a trial with speed vs. accuracy instructions. Additionally, the depression group showed a slower rate of evidence accumulation as indicated by a generally lower drift rate.

CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that less efficient strategic regulation of behavior in depression is due not only to general slowing, but also to more specific deficits, such as a rigid dependence on past contextual instructions. Future studies should investigate the neuro-anatomical basis of this deficit.

BACKGROUND: Depression is associated with deficits in cognitive flexibility. The role of general slowing in modulating more specific cognitive deficits is however unclear.

AIM: We assessed how depression affects the capacity to strategically adapt behavior between harsh and prudent response modalities and how general and specific processes may contribute to performance deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Depression
  • Diffusion models
  • Executive functions
  • Flexibility
  • Perceptual decision-making
  • Speed-accuracy trade off

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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