fMRI of alterations in reward selection, anticipation, and feedback in major depressive disorder

Moria J. Smoski, Jennifer Felder, Joshua Bizzell, Steven R. Green, Monique Ernst, Thomas R. Lynch, Gabriel S. Dichter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate reward processing in unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD). Specifically, we investigated whether adults with MDD demonstrated hyporesponsivity in striatal brain regions and/or hyperresponsivity in cortical brain regions involved in conflict monitoring using a Wheel of Fortune task designed to probe responses during reward selection, reward anticipation, and reward feedback. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data indicated that the MDD group was characterized by reduced activation of striatal reward regions during reward selection, reward anticipation, and reward feedback, supporting previous data indicating hyporesponsivity of reward systems in MDD. Support was not found for hyperresponsivity of cognitive control regions during reward selection or reward anticipation. Instead, MDD participants showed hyperresponsivity in orbitofrontal cortex, a region associated with assessment of risk and reward, during reward selection, as well as decreased activation of the middle frontal gyrus and the rostral cingulate gyrus during reward selection and anticipation. Finally, depression severity was predicted by activation in bilateral midfrontal gyrus during reward selection. Results indicate that MDD is characterized by striatal hyporesponsivity, and that future studies of MDD treatments that seek to improve responses to rewarding stimuli should assess striatal functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume118
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • Cingulate gyrus
  • Dorsal striatum
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Unipolar depression
  • Ventral striatum
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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