A computational analysis of flanker interference in depression

D. G. Dillon, T. Wiecki, P. Pechtel, C. Webb, F. Goer, L. Murray, M. Trivedi, M. Fava, P. J. McGrath, M. Weissman, R. Parsey, B. Kurian, P. Adams, T. Carmody, S. Weyandt, K. Shores-Wilson, M. Toups, M. McInnis, M. A. Oquendo, C. Cusin & 3 others P. Deldin, G. Bruder, D. A. Pizzagalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background Depression is characterized by poor executive function, but - counterintuitively - in some studies, it has been associated with highly accurate performance on certain cognitively demanding tasks. The psychological mechanisms responsible for this paradoxical finding are unclear. To address this issue, we applied a drift diffusion model (DDM) to flanker task data from depressed and healthy adults participating in the multi-site Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care for Depression (EMBARC) study. Method One hundred unmedicated, depressed adults and 40 healthy controls completed a flanker task. We investigated the effect of flanker interference on accuracy and response time, and used the DDM to examine group differences in three cognitive processes: prepotent response bias (tendency to respond to the distracting flankers), response inhibition (necessary to resist prepotency), and executive control (required for execution of correct response on incongruent trials). Results Consistent with prior reports, depressed participants responded more slowly and accurately than controls on incongruent trials. The DDM indicated that although executive control was sluggish in depressed participants, this was more than offset by decreased prepotent response bias. Among the depressed participants, anhedonia was negatively correlated with a parameter indexing the speed of executive control (r = -0.28, p = 0.007). Conclusions Executive control was delayed in depression but this was counterbalanced by reduced prepotent response bias, demonstrating how participants with executive function deficits can nevertheless perform accurately in a cognitive control task. Drawing on data from neural network simulations, we speculate that these results may reflect tonically reduced striatal dopamine in depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2333-2344
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume45
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Executive Function
Depression
Anhedonia
Corpus Striatum
Antidepressive Agents
Reaction Time
Dopamine
Psychology

Keywords

  • Cognitive control
  • computational modelling
  • depression
  • executive function
  • flanker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

Dillon, D. G., Wiecki, T., Pechtel, P., Webb, C., Goer, F., Murray, L., ... Pizzagalli, D. A. (2015). A computational analysis of flanker interference in depression. Psychological Medicine, 45(11), 2333-2344. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291715000276

A computational analysis of flanker interference in depression. / Dillon, D. G.; Wiecki, T.; Pechtel, P.; Webb, C.; Goer, F.; Murray, L.; Trivedi, M.; Fava, M.; McGrath, P. J.; Weissman, M.; Parsey, R.; Kurian, B.; Adams, P.; Carmody, T.; Weyandt, S.; Shores-Wilson, K.; Toups, M.; McInnis, M.; Oquendo, M. A.; Cusin, C.; Deldin, P.; Bruder, G.; Pizzagalli, D. A.

In: Psychological Medicine, Vol. 45, No. 11, 04.05.2015, p. 2333-2344.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dillon, DG, Wiecki, T, Pechtel, P, Webb, C, Goer, F, Murray, L, Trivedi, M, Fava, M, McGrath, PJ, Weissman, M, Parsey, R, Kurian, B, Adams, P, Carmody, T, Weyandt, S, Shores-Wilson, K, Toups, M, McInnis, M, Oquendo, MA, Cusin, C, Deldin, P, Bruder, G & Pizzagalli, DA 2015, 'A computational analysis of flanker interference in depression', Psychological Medicine, vol. 45, no. 11, pp. 2333-2344. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291715000276
Dillon DG, Wiecki T, Pechtel P, Webb C, Goer F, Murray L et al. A computational analysis of flanker interference in depression. Psychological Medicine. 2015 May 4;45(11):2333-2344. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291715000276
Dillon, D. G. ; Wiecki, T. ; Pechtel, P. ; Webb, C. ; Goer, F. ; Murray, L. ; Trivedi, M. ; Fava, M. ; McGrath, P. J. ; Weissman, M. ; Parsey, R. ; Kurian, B. ; Adams, P. ; Carmody, T. ; Weyandt, S. ; Shores-Wilson, K. ; Toups, M. ; McInnis, M. ; Oquendo, M. A. ; Cusin, C. ; Deldin, P. ; Bruder, G. ; Pizzagalli, D. A. / A computational analysis of flanker interference in depression. In: Psychological Medicine. 2015 ; Vol. 45, No. 11. pp. 2333-2344.
@article{f88a3820645845c38e54d91bd0c1422a,
title = "A computational analysis of flanker interference in depression",
abstract = "Background Depression is characterized by poor executive function, but - counterintuitively - in some studies, it has been associated with highly accurate performance on certain cognitively demanding tasks. The psychological mechanisms responsible for this paradoxical finding are unclear. To address this issue, we applied a drift diffusion model (DDM) to flanker task data from depressed and healthy adults participating in the multi-site Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care for Depression (EMBARC) study. Method One hundred unmedicated, depressed adults and 40 healthy controls completed a flanker task. We investigated the effect of flanker interference on accuracy and response time, and used the DDM to examine group differences in three cognitive processes: prepotent response bias (tendency to respond to the distracting flankers), response inhibition (necessary to resist prepotency), and executive control (required for execution of correct response on incongruent trials). Results Consistent with prior reports, depressed participants responded more slowly and accurately than controls on incongruent trials. The DDM indicated that although executive control was sluggish in depressed participants, this was more than offset by decreased prepotent response bias. Among the depressed participants, anhedonia was negatively correlated with a parameter indexing the speed of executive control (r = -0.28, p = 0.007). Conclusions Executive control was delayed in depression but this was counterbalanced by reduced prepotent response bias, demonstrating how participants with executive function deficits can nevertheless perform accurately in a cognitive control task. Drawing on data from neural network simulations, we speculate that these results may reflect tonically reduced striatal dopamine in depression.",
keywords = "Cognitive control, computational modelling, depression, executive function, flanker",
author = "Dillon, {D. G.} and T. Wiecki and P. Pechtel and C. Webb and F. Goer and L. Murray and M. Trivedi and M. Fava and McGrath, {P. J.} and M. Weissman and R. Parsey and B. Kurian and P. Adams and T. Carmody and S. Weyandt and K. Shores-Wilson and M. Toups and M. McInnis and Oquendo, {M. A.} and C. Cusin and P. Deldin and G. Bruder and Pizzagalli, {D. A.}",
year = "2015",
month = "5",
day = "4",
doi = "10.1017/S0033291715000276",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "45",
pages = "2333--2344",
journal = "Psychological Medicine",
issn = "0033-2917",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A computational analysis of flanker interference in depression

AU - Dillon, D. G.

AU - Wiecki, T.

AU - Pechtel, P.

AU - Webb, C.

AU - Goer, F.

AU - Murray, L.

AU - Trivedi, M.

AU - Fava, M.

AU - McGrath, P. J.

AU - Weissman, M.

AU - Parsey, R.

AU - Kurian, B.

AU - Adams, P.

AU - Carmody, T.

AU - Weyandt, S.

AU - Shores-Wilson, K.

AU - Toups, M.

AU - McInnis, M.

AU - Oquendo, M. A.

AU - Cusin, C.

AU - Deldin, P.

AU - Bruder, G.

AU - Pizzagalli, D. A.

PY - 2015/5/4

Y1 - 2015/5/4

N2 - Background Depression is characterized by poor executive function, but - counterintuitively - in some studies, it has been associated with highly accurate performance on certain cognitively demanding tasks. The psychological mechanisms responsible for this paradoxical finding are unclear. To address this issue, we applied a drift diffusion model (DDM) to flanker task data from depressed and healthy adults participating in the multi-site Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care for Depression (EMBARC) study. Method One hundred unmedicated, depressed adults and 40 healthy controls completed a flanker task. We investigated the effect of flanker interference on accuracy and response time, and used the DDM to examine group differences in three cognitive processes: prepotent response bias (tendency to respond to the distracting flankers), response inhibition (necessary to resist prepotency), and executive control (required for execution of correct response on incongruent trials). Results Consistent with prior reports, depressed participants responded more slowly and accurately than controls on incongruent trials. The DDM indicated that although executive control was sluggish in depressed participants, this was more than offset by decreased prepotent response bias. Among the depressed participants, anhedonia was negatively correlated with a parameter indexing the speed of executive control (r = -0.28, p = 0.007). Conclusions Executive control was delayed in depression but this was counterbalanced by reduced prepotent response bias, demonstrating how participants with executive function deficits can nevertheless perform accurately in a cognitive control task. Drawing on data from neural network simulations, we speculate that these results may reflect tonically reduced striatal dopamine in depression.

AB - Background Depression is characterized by poor executive function, but - counterintuitively - in some studies, it has been associated with highly accurate performance on certain cognitively demanding tasks. The psychological mechanisms responsible for this paradoxical finding are unclear. To address this issue, we applied a drift diffusion model (DDM) to flanker task data from depressed and healthy adults participating in the multi-site Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care for Depression (EMBARC) study. Method One hundred unmedicated, depressed adults and 40 healthy controls completed a flanker task. We investigated the effect of flanker interference on accuracy and response time, and used the DDM to examine group differences in three cognitive processes: prepotent response bias (tendency to respond to the distracting flankers), response inhibition (necessary to resist prepotency), and executive control (required for execution of correct response on incongruent trials). Results Consistent with prior reports, depressed participants responded more slowly and accurately than controls on incongruent trials. The DDM indicated that although executive control was sluggish in depressed participants, this was more than offset by decreased prepotent response bias. Among the depressed participants, anhedonia was negatively correlated with a parameter indexing the speed of executive control (r = -0.28, p = 0.007). Conclusions Executive control was delayed in depression but this was counterbalanced by reduced prepotent response bias, demonstrating how participants with executive function deficits can nevertheless perform accurately in a cognitive control task. Drawing on data from neural network simulations, we speculate that these results may reflect tonically reduced striatal dopamine in depression.

KW - Cognitive control

KW - computational modelling

KW - depression

KW - executive function

KW - flanker

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84937023757&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84937023757&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0033291715000276

DO - 10.1017/S0033291715000276

M3 - Article

VL - 45

SP - 2333

EP - 2344

JO - Psychological Medicine

JF - Psychological Medicine

SN - 0033-2917

IS - 11

ER -