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Neural processing of reward and punishment in young people at increased familial risk of depression

McCabe, C., Woffindale, C., Harmer, C. J. and Cowen, P. J. (2012) Neural processing of reward and punishment in young people at increased familial risk of depression. Biological Psychiatry, 72 (7). pp. 588-594. ISSN 0006-3223

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.04.034

Abstract/Summary

Background Abnormalities in the neural representation of rewarding and aversive stimuli have been well-described in patients with acute depression, and we previously found abnormal neural responses to rewarding and aversive sight and taste stimuli in recovered depressed patients. The aim of the present study was to determine whether similar abnormalities might be present in young people at increased familial risk of depression but with no personal history of mood disorder. Methods We therefore used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the neural responses to pleasant and aversive sights and tastes in 25 young people (16–21 years of age) with a biological parent with depression and 25 age- and gender-matched control subjects. Results We found that, relative to the control subjects, participants with a parental history of depression showed diminished responses in the orbitofrontal cortex to rewarding stimuli, whereas activations to aversive stimuli were increased in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and insula. In anterior cingulate cortex the at-risk group showed blunted neural responses to both rewarding and aversive stimuli. Conclusions Our findings suggest that young people at increased familial risk of depression have altered neural representation of reward and punishment, particularly in cortical regions linked to the use of positive and negative feedback to guide adaptive behavior.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:33177
Uncontrolled Keywords:Anterior cingulate; depression; functional magnetic resonance imaging; punishment; reward; vulnerability
Publisher:Elsevier

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