C. Liaoa, Z. Fenga, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, D. Zhoub, Q. Daia, B. Xieb, B. Jib, X. Wangb, X. Wangc
a Educational Center of Mental Health, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
b Radiology Department, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
c Xuanwu Hospital, Beijing 100053, China
Background: depression is characterized by a stable negative bias toward emotional stimuli.
This bias is associated with abnormal activities in emotion-processing regions (such as the amygdala) and cognitive-control regions (such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [DLPFC]).
However, it remains unclear whether the emotion-processing and cognitive-control regions affect negative cognitive bias independently or reciprocally.
Experimental procedure: a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of 16 depressed patients and 16 matched control subjects was conducted during an emotion-interference task.
Results: the accuracies were significantly lower in the depressed group than in the control group when subjects attended to the happy and the neutral faces.
Compared with control participants, depressed patients showed abnormal activity in bilateral amygdala and the right DLPFC.
In addition, a significant correlation was found between the right amygdala and the right DLPFC when subjects observed happy faces.
Conclusions: the results suggest that the dysfunctions in positive emotion-processing and cognitive-control regions may reciprocally affect negative cognitive bias.
Additionally, altered positive emotional interference processing in the fronto-limbic brain circuitry might be another cause of negative cognitive bias that finally leads to depression.
▶Emotion-processing and cognitive-control regions affect negative cognitive bias. ▶Depressed patients showed dysfunctions in the right amygdala and the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. ▶A significant correlation was found between the two regions.
Key words: depression; emotional processing; cognitive control; brain circuitry; fMRI
Abbreviations: ACC, anterior cingulate cortex; BDI, Beck Depression Inventory; CCMD-3, Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders; DLPFC, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging; FOV, field of view; MDD, major depressive disorder; ROI, regions of interest; RT, reaction time; SDS, Self-rating Depression Scale; TE, time-to-echo; TR, repetition time
Available online 22 November 2011