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Altered engagement of autobiographical memory networks in adult offspring of postnatally depressed mothers

Macdonald, B., Murray, L., Moutsiana, C., Fearon, P., Cooper, P. J., Halligan, S. L. and Johnstone, T. (2016) Altered engagement of autobiographical memory networks in adult offspring of postnatally depressed mothers. Biological Psychology, 118. pp. 147-153. ISSN 0301-0511

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.05.006

Abstract/Summary

Maternal depression is associated with increased risk for offspring mood and anxiety disorders. One possible impact of maternal depression during offspring development is on the emotional autobiographical memory system. We investigated the neural mechanisms of emotional autobiographical memory in adult offspring of mothers with postnatal depression (N = 16) compared to controls (N = 21). During fMRI, recordings of participants describing one pleasant and one unpleasant situation with their mother and with a companion, were used as prompts to re-live the situations. Compared to controls we predicted the PND offspring would show: greater activation in medial and posterior brain regions implicated in autobiographical memory and rumination; and decreased activation in lateral prefrontal cortex and decreased connectivity between lateral prefrontal and posterior regions, reflecting reduced control of autobiographical recall. For negative situations, we found no group differences. For positive situations with their mothers, PND offspring showed higher activation than controls in left lateral prefrontal cortex, right frontal pole, cingulate cortex and precuneus, and lower connectivity of right middle frontal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, thalamus and lingual gyrus with the posterior cingulate. Our results are consistent with adult offspring of PND mothers having less efficient prefrontal regulation of personally relevant pleasant autobiographical memories.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Winnicott
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:65656
Uncontrolled Keywords:autobiographical memory; postnatal depression; emotion; regulation; prefrontal cortex; development
Publisher:Elsevier

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