Depression is frequently characterized by patterns of inflexible, maladaptive, and ruminative
thinking styles; these patterns themselves are thought to result from a combination of
decreased attentional control, decreased executive functioning, and increased negative
affect. Specifically, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex has been hypothesized to play a
central role in emotion regulation by recruiting resources necessary for executive control.
Recent advances have been made in neurobehavioral training strategies as interventions for
emotional disorders such as depression. Cognitive control training (CCT) uses computer-based
exercises to recruit and activate prefrontal neural networks via repeated behavioral
exercises, with the aim of strengthening cognitive and emotional functions. A previous study
found that severely depressed participants who received CCT exhibited reduced negative affect
and rumination as well as improved focus and concentration. The present study aimed to extend
this line of research by employing a more stringent control group and testing the efficacy of
three sessions of CCT over a two-week period in a community population with depressed mood.
Forty-eight participants with high BDI-II scores were randomized to CCT or a comparison
condition (Peripheral Vision Training; PVT). The investigators hypothesized that relative to
a control condition (PVT), CCT would be associated with less self-reported negative mood and