Altered emotional interference processing in affective and cognitive-control brain circuitry in major depression

 2008 Feb 15;63(4):377-84. Epub 2007 Aug 24.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Major depression is characterized by a negativity bias: an enhanced responsiveness to, and memory for, affectively negative stimuli. However, it is not yet clear whether this bias represents 1) impaired top-down cognitive control over affective responses, potentially linked to deficits in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex function; or 2) enhanced bottom-up responses to affectively laden stimuli that dysregulate cognitive control mechanisms, potentially linked to deficits in amygdala and anterior cingulate function.

METHODS:

We used an attentional interference task using emotional distracters to test for top-down versus bottom-up dysfunction in the interaction of cognitive-control circuitry and emotion-processing circuitry. A total of 27 patients with major depression and 24 control participants was tested. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was carried out as participants directly attended to, or attempted to ignore, fear-related stimuli.

RESULTS:

Compared with control subjects, patients with depression showed an enhanced amygdala response to unattended fear-related stimuli (relative to unattended neutral). By contrast, control participants showed increased activity in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann areas 46/9) when ignoring fear stimuli (relative to neutral), which the patients with depression did not show. In addition, the depressed participants failed to show evidence of error-related cognitive adjustments (increased activity in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on posterror trials), but the control group did show them.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest multiple sources of dysregulation in emotional and cognitive control circuitry in depression, implicating both top-down and bottom-up dysfunction.

PMID:
17719567
PMCID:
PMC2268639
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.06.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Free PMC Article

About S. R. Zelenz 67 Articles
S.R. Zelenz has worked in education for 20 years. Working with students from all walks of life, cultures, races, and social diversity, Zelenz’s research in Educational Leadership led to finding a better way to approach learning for students with trauma histories. Many were juvenile offenders, gang members, diagnosed with varying behavioral disorders, or had family histories of violence, murder, or narcissistic parenting. This research could not be effectively accomplished without further understanding: how epigenetic trauma inheritance may be impacting these students; how brain development from trauma may be impacting their behavioral and emotional development; as well as deep understanding of psychology and its varying classifications for behavioral and personality disorders. The goal is to find solutions for changing the conversation and making a real difference for these students. She has also worked with nonprofits of varying focus areas for the last 25 years. Her undergraduate degree in Arts Administration and Music prepared her for managing nonprofits of any size as well as procuring funding so that they can achieve their goals. Pairing her nonprofit background with her education background, she has been able to make a difference for over 200 nonprofits worldwide, written curriculum for schools across the globe, and assisted many arts organizations through performance and management.