Background. Demonstrating differences between euthymic bipolar subjects and healthy controls in response to positive (happy) mood induction may help elucidate how mania evolves. This pilot study evaluates the Go task in a reward paradigm as a method for inducing a happy mood state and compares the response of euthymic bipolar subjects and healthy controls.
Method. The Sense of Hyperpositive Self Scale, the Tellegen positive and negative adjectives, the Global-Local task and a visual analogue scale for measuring positive affect were administered to 15 euthymic bipolar subjects and 19 age-and-sex-matched healthy control subjects before and after they had performed the Go task in a reward paradigm.
Results. Significant differences were found between subjects and controls on several measures at each time-point but there were no differences across the groups across time except for the visual analogue scales, where subjects had a more sustained duration in self-reported happiness compared with controls.
Conclusions. This pilot study has shown that a positive affect can be induced in bipolar subjects and controls which can be demonstrated by changes in scores on several tasks. However, only the visual analogue scales showed a significant difference between cases and controls over time. Such tests may prove valuable in furthering understanding about the evolution of manic mood states.