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Neural correlates of 'pessimistic' attitude in depression

Herwig, U. and Bruhl, A. B. and Kaffenberger, T. and Baumgartner, T. and Boeker, H. and Jancke, L.. (2010) Neural correlates of 'pessimistic' attitude in depression. Psychological medicine : a journal for research in psychiatry and the allied sciences, Vol. 40, Iss. 5. pp. 789-800.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5842598

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Preparing for potentially threatening events in the future is essential for survival. Anticipating the future to be unpleasant is also a cognitive key feature of depression. We hypothesized that 'pessimism'-related emotion processing would characterize brain activity in major depression.MethodDuring functional magnetic resonance imaging, depressed patients and a healthy control group were cued to expect and then perceive pictures of known emotional valences - pleasant, unpleasant and neutral - and stimuli of unknown valence that could have been either pleasant or unpleasant. Brain activation associated with the 'unknown' expectation was compared with the 'known' expectation conditions. RESULTS: While anticipating pictures of unknown valence, activation patterns in depressed patients within the medial and dorsolateral prefrontal areas, inferior frontal gyrus, insula and medial thalamus were similar to activations associated with expecting unpleasant pictures, but not with expecting positive pictures. The activity within a majority of these areas correlated with the depression scores. Differences between healthy and depressed persons were found particularly for medial and dorsolateral prefrontal and insular activations. CONCLUSIONS: Brain activation in depression during expecting events of unknown emotional valence was comparable with activation while expecting certainly negative, but not positive events. This neurobiological finding is consistent with cognitive models supposing that depressed patients develop a 'pessimistic' attitude towards events with an unknown emotional meaning. Thereby, particularly the role of brain areas associated with the processing of cognitive and executive control and of the internal state is emphasized in contributing to major depression.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Social and Affective Neuroscience (Knoch)
UniBasel Contributors:Baumgartner, Thomas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0033-2917
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:14 Sep 2012 07:21
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 07:12

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