Co-occurring anxiety influences patterns of brain activity in depression

Anna S. Engels, Wendy Heller, Jeffrey M. Spielberg, Stacie L. Warren, Bradley P. Sutton, Marie T. Banich, Gregory A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Brain activation associated with anhedonic depression and co-occurring anxious arousal and anxious apprehension was measured by fMRI during performance of an emotion word Stroop task. Consistent with EEG findings, depression was associated with rightward frontal lateralization in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), but only when anxious arousal was elevated and anxious apprehension was low. Activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) was also reduced for depression under the same conditions. In contrast, depression was associated with more activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (dorsal ACC and rostral ACC) and the bilateral amygdala. Results imply that depression, particularly when accompanied by anxious arousal, may result in a failure to implement top-down processing by appropriate brain regions (left DLPFC, right IFG) due to increased activation in regions associated with responding to emotionally salient information (right DLPFC, amygdala).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-156
Number of pages16
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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