Reduced medial prefrontal responses to social interaction images in remitted depression

Rebecca Elliott, Karen Lythe, Rachel Lee, Shane McKie, G. Juhász, Emma J. Thomas, Darragh Downey, J. F William Deakin, Ian M. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context: Major depressive disorder is associated with impairments in processing emotional stimuli, and residual impairments are observed during remission, possibly indicating trait vulnerability. Stimuli with social context represent a distinct class of emotional stimuli, which in healthy volunteers are associated with specific neural substrates but have not previously been studied relative to vulnerability to depression. Objective: To explore whether individuals with remitted major depressive disorder had altered neuronal processing of social emotional stimuli. Design: Cross-sectional design using functional magnetic resonance imaging, combined with a cognitive activation task. Setting: General community of greater Manchester, England. Participants: Twenty-five unmedicated participants fully remitted from major depressive disorder and 29 age-matched control subjects. Main Outcome Measures: Neuronal responses to positive and negative social interaction images vs valencematched images with less overt social context. Results: Participants with remitted depression showed attenuated frontopolar response relative to controls for positive and negative images depicting social interactions. For negative social images, participants with remitted depression alsoshowedreduced latero-orbitofrontal response relative to controls. Conclusions: In the absence of current symptoms, individuals with remitted major depressive disorder showed reduced frontopolar processing of stimuli showing social interactions, a reduction not seen for stimuli showing individual successes and failures and, therefore, not simply an effect of emotional valence. These results suggest a specific trait abnormality in social emotional processing associated with vulnerability to depression, which may have implications for understanding social cognition mechanisms and for developing effective psychological therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Volume69
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

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Major Depressive Disorder
Interpersonal Relations
Depression
England
Cognition
Healthy Volunteers
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Psychology
Social Interaction
Stimulus
Emotion
Vulnerability
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Reduced medial prefrontal responses to social interaction images in remitted depression. / Elliott, Rebecca; Lythe, Karen; Lee, Rachel; McKie, Shane; Juhász, G.; Thomas, Emma J.; Downey, Darragh; Deakin, J. F William; Anderson, Ian M.

In: Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 69, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 37-45.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Elliott, R, Lythe, K, Lee, R, McKie, S, Juhász, G, Thomas, EJ, Downey, D, Deakin, JFW & Anderson, IM 2012, 'Reduced medial prefrontal responses to social interaction images in remitted depression', Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 69, no. 1, pp. 37-45. https://doi.org/10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.139
Elliott, Rebecca ; Lythe, Karen ; Lee, Rachel ; McKie, Shane ; Juhász, G. ; Thomas, Emma J. ; Downey, Darragh ; Deakin, J. F William ; Anderson, Ian M. / Reduced medial prefrontal responses to social interaction images in remitted depression. In: Archives of General Psychiatry. 2012 ; Vol. 69, No. 1. pp. 37-45.
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