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<p>Anhedonia, a cardinal symptom of depression, is characterized by deficits in positive affect. Consequently, depressed individuals demonstrate impoverished positive imagery and a bias for observer (vs. field) perspective when recalling autobiographical memories. To address this abnormal recall style, participants (n=16) with anhedonia underwent Mobile Virtual Reality Reward Training (MVR-RT) in which they watched positively-reinforcing videos and completed a written recounting of positive details from the scenes. To personalize treatment, they also recounted positive autobiographical memories. Using text-analysis software, we analyzed language use in autobiographical recalls. During the first half of treatment, increased use of first-person pronouns was correlated with decreased anhedonia (p=.002), anxiety (p=.003), and stress (p=.036), suggesting enhanced field perspective is associated with improved clinical outcomes. Changes in positive and negative emotion word use corresponded with improvements in negative affect (p=.022) and stress (p=.020), respectively. Results suggest MVR-RT has potential to ameliorate anhedonia by targeting an often-neglected recall deficit in depression.</p>
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