A unique emotional processing profile of euthymic bipolar disorder? A critical review

Document Type

Journal Article


Elsevier BV


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Psychology and Social Science




This article was originally published as: Mercer, L., & Becerra, R. (2013). A unique emotional processing profile of euthymic bipolar disorder? A critical review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 146(3), 295-309. Original article available here


Objectives: To undertake a critical review of the literature on emotional processing (EP) in bipolar patients in remission. This literature review focuses on a number of dimensions of EP including facial emotion recognition, emotional memory, affective theory of mind (ToM), affective attention and affective auditory information processing. Methods: A systematic search was conducted through PsychINFO and Medline databases to obtain relevant literature. Studies that include behavioural measures of EP were included. Results: The findings from this review demonstrate that bipolar disorder (BD) patients continue to exhibit some EP deficits during euthymic phases. A number of factors believed to contribute to such findings have been highlighted. Conclusions: This review has shed light on some of the conflicting findings reported in the literature and thus offers a more comprehensive profile of euthymic bipolar patients' EP abilities. This information could enrich clinicians' therapeutic efforts to minimise relapse by attending to euthymic bipolar patients' specific emotional processing difficulties.