Abnormal prefrontal activity subserving attentional control of emotion in remitted depressed patients during a working memory task with emotional distracters

Rebecca Kerestes, Cecile D Ladouceur, Shashwath A Meda, Pradeep Jonathan Nathan, Hilary P Blumberg, Kathleen H Maloney, Barbara M Ruf, Aybala Saricicek, Godfrey D Pearlson, Zubin Bhagwagar, Mary Louise Phillips

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101 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) show deficits in processing of facial emotions that persist beyond recovery and cessation of treatment. Abnormalities in neural areas supporting attentional control and emotion processing in remitted depressed (rMDD) patients suggests that there may be enduring, trait-like abnormalities in key neural circuits at the interface of cognition and emotion, but this issue has not been studied systematically. Method Nineteen euthymic, medication-free rMDD patients (mean age 33.6 years; mean duration of illness 34 months) and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HC; mean age 35.8 years) performed the Emotional Face N-Back (EFNBACK) task, a working memory task with emotional distracter stimuli. We used blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure neural activity in the dorsolateral (DLPFC) and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), ventral striatum and amygdala, using a region of interest (ROI) approach in SPM2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29 - 40
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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