Neuropsychological and emotion processing deficits in adults with bipolar disorder

Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Committee Member

Daniel N. Allen, Chair

Second Committee Member

Charles Rasmussen

Third Committee Member

Marta Meana

Graduate Faculty Representative

Merrill Landers

Number of Pages



Studies have demonstrated deficits in neurocognitive function in adults affected by bipolar I disorder (BP), however processing of emotional information has received relatively little attention, despite the fact that BP is characterized by emotion dysregulation. Although learning and memory deficits for non-emotional information have been found in BP, it has yet to be determined whether memory processing for emotional information is similarly impaired. The purpose of this study is to identify the neurocognitive deficits in emotion and memory processing in BP through the administration of neuropsychological assessments. All participants were administered a battery of neurocognitive measures designed to assess learning and memory for both emotional and non-emotional information. The first hypothesis anticipated that there would be an overall effect for the bipolar disorder group to perform more poorly on all learning and memory measures in comparison to the normal control (NC) group. The second hypothesis anticipated that within the bipolar disorder group, there will be more deficits found on assessments measuring emotional information compared to non-emotional information within the BP group. The third hypothesis anticipated that the BP group would perform more poorly with negatively valenced information in comparison to the NC group. In order to assess these hypotheses, thirty-one individuals with bipolar disorder and twenty-one individuals with no clinical diagnosis received a battery of neuropsychological assessments measuring learning and memory. Results partially supported hypothesis one and two, and did not support hypothesis three.


Bipolar disorder; Emotion; Emotional intelligence; Emotions and cognition; Learning; Manic-depressive illness; Memory; Neuropsychology; Visuospatial


Clinical Psychology | Cognitive Neuroscience

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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