Neural correlates of emotional processing in depression: changes with cognitive behavioral therapy and predictors of treatment response.
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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by the presence of disturbances in emotional processing. However, the neural correlates of these alterations, and how they may be affected by therapeutic interventions, remain unclear. The present study addressed these issues in a preliminary investigation using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine neural responses to positive, negative, and neutral pictures in unmedicated MDD patients (N = 22) versus controls (N = 14). After this initial scan, MDD patients were treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and scanned again after treatment. Within regions that showed pre-treatment differences between patients and controls, we tested the association between pre-treatment activity and subsequent treatment response as well as activity changes from pre- to post-treatment. This study yielded three main findings. First, prior to treatment and relative to controls, patients exhibited overall reduced activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PFC), diminished discrimination between emotional and neutral items in the amygdala, caudate, and hippocampus, and enhanced responses to negative versus positive stimuli in the left anterior temporal lobe (ATL) and right dorsolateral PFC. Second, CBT-related symptom improvement in MDD patients was predicted by increased activity at baseline in ventromedial PFC as well as the valence effects in the ATL and dorsolateral PFC. Third, from pre- to post-treatment, MDD patients exhibited overall increases in ventromedial PFC activation, enhanced arousal responses in the amygdala, caudate, and hippocampus, and a reversal of valence effects in the ATL. The study was limited by the relatively small sample that was able to complete both scan sessions, as well as an inability to determine the influence of comorbid disorders within the current sample. Nevertheless, components of the neural networks corresponding to emotion processing disturbances in MDD appear to resolve following treatment and are predictive of treatment response, possibly reflecting improvements in emotion regulation processes in response to CBT.
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Predictive Value of Tests
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.09.007
Publication InfoCabeza, Roberto; Dolcos, F; Eddington, Kari M; Ritchey, M; & Strauman, Timothy J (2011). Neural correlates of emotional processing in depression: changes with cognitive behavioral therapy and predictors of treatment response. J Psychiatr Res, 45(5). pp. 577-587. 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.09.007. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13854.
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Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
My laboratory investigates the neural correlates of memory and cognition in young and older adults using fMRI. We have three main lines of research: First, we distinguish the neural correlates of various episodic memory processes. For example, we have compared encoding vs. retrieval, item vs. source memory, recall vs. recognition, true vs. false memory, and emotional vs. nonemotional memory. We are particularly interested in the contribution of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and medial temporal lobe (M
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Professor Strauman's research focuses on the psychological and neurobiological processes that enable self-regulation, conceptualized in terms of a cognitive/motivational perspective, as well as the relation between self-regulation and affect. Particular areas of emphasis include: (1) conceptualizing self-regulation in terms of brain/behavior motivational systems; (2) the role of self-regulatory cognitive processes in vulnerability to depression and other disorders; (3) the impact of tre
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