Departmental Papers (Psychology)

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Journal Article

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Publication Source

Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging



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Neuroimaging studies of mood disorders demonstrate abnormalities in brain regions implicated in reward processing. However, there is a paucity of research investigating how social rewards affect reward circuit activity in these disorders. Here, we evaluated the relationship of both diagnostic category and dimensional depression severity to reward system function in bipolar and unipolar depression. In total, 86 adults were included, including 24 patients with bipolar depression, 24 patients with unipolar depression, and 38 healthy comparison subjects. Participants completed a social reward task during 3T BOLD fMRI. On average, diagnostic groups did not differ in activation to social reward. However, greater depression severity significantly correlated with reduced bilateral ventral striatum activation to social reward in the bipolar depressed group, but not the unipolar depressed group. In addition, decreased left orbitofrontal cortical activation correlated with more severe symptoms in bipolar depression, but not unipolar depression. These differential dimensional effects resulted in a significant voxelwise group by depression severity interaction. Taken together, these results provide initial evidence that deficits in social reward processing are differentially related to depression severity in the two disorders.

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© 2016. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


Neuroimaging, Mood disorders, Magnetic resonance imaging

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Psychology Commons



Date Posted: 06 December 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.