Mapping the relationship between subgenual cingulate cortex functional connectivity and depressive symptoms across adolescence

Cherie Strikwerda-Brown, Christopher G. Davey, Sarah Whittle, Nicholas B. Allen, Michelle L. Byrne, Orli S. Schwartz, Julian G. Simmons, Dominic Dwyer, Ben J. Harrison

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in the functional connectivity of the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (SGC) have been linked with depressive symptoms. The aim of this study was to map this relationship across mid to late adolescence. Employing a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) design, associations between patterns of resting-state SGC functional connectivity and symptoms of depression were examined at two time points in an initial sample of 72 adolescents. Using a region-of-interest approach, these associations were evaluated cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Cross-sectionally, weaker SGC functional connectivity with the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), angular gyrus and dorsal prefrontal cortex at baseline, and weaker SGC connectivity with the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex at follow-up, were associated with higher depressive symptoms. Longitudinally, a decrease in SGC functional connectivity with DMPFC, PCC, angular gyrus and middle temporal gyrus was associated with higher depressive symptoms at follow-up. The observation of weaker SGC connectivity predicting increased symptoms contrasts with the majority of resting-state fMRI studies in clinically depressed populations. Taken together with these past studies, our findings suggest depression-related changes in SGC functional connectivity may differ across developmental and illness stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbernsu143
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Depression
  • fMRI
  • Functional connectivity
  • Subgenual cingulate cortex

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