State rumination enhances elaborative processing of negative material as evidenced by the late positive potential.


Rumination has been shown to increase negative affect and is highly associated with increased duration of depressive episodes. Previous research has shown that enhanced elaborative processing of negative stimuli is often associated with depression and trait rumination. We hypothesized that engaging in rumination would result in sustained elaborative processing of negative information, as measured by late positive potential (LPP) asymmetry, regardless of depression. Participants were experimentally induced to engage in ruminative- or distraction-oriented thoughts (Nolen-Hoeksema & Morrow, 1993), and subsequently viewed negative, positive, and neutral images. Our results showed a very specific right-dominant frontal LPP to negative, but not neutral or positive, pictures in the rumination condition only that was not correlated with any measures of trait rumination or depression symptoms. This suggests that state rumination alone may lead to this enhanced, sustained processing of negative material that is typically associated with depression.


Kimberly L. Lewis
Lauren E. Taubitz
Michael W. Duke
Elizabeth L. Steuer
Christine L Larson