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The link between depression and phobic responding is poorly understood. Forty-eight spider phobics were exposed to videotaped spider sequences whilst in relatively depressed or relatively elated moods, then presented the same stimuli whilst in a neutral mood. Results indicated that depressed mood increased initial responding, and was associated with greater return of fear during the second (non-mood) sequence. The return of fear was not attributable solely to differential habituation rates during the first sequence, suggesting that the differences observed may have been due to cognitive effects.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Res Ther

Publication Date





439 - 445


Adolescent, Adult, Affect, Aged, Animals, Anxiety Disorders, Arousal, Behavior Therapy, Depressive Disorder, Fear, Habituation, Psychophysiologic, Humans, Middle Aged, Phobic Disorders, Recurrence, Spiders