Neural correlates of self-referential processing and implicit self-associations in chronic depression

F. Renner, N. Siep, J. Lobbestael, A. Arntz, F.P.M.L. Peeters, M.J.H. Huibers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Patients with depression tend to process negative information with regard to the self (i.e. self-referential processing). A better understanding of the neural underpinnings of self-referential processing in patients with depression is clinically important as it can inform on potential treatment targets. METHOD: This fMRI study sought to study the neural correlates of self-referential processing in patients with chronic major depressive disorder (cMDD) (n=17) and non-patient controls (n=18) using a passive processing paradigm. Stimuli consisted of positive, negative, negative depression related and neutral personality trait words or non-words. Participants were instructed to indicate whether a presented word was an existing word or a non-word while undergoing an fMRI scan. Participants also completed an explicit and an implicit measure of positive and negative self-associations outside the scanner. RESULTS: Non-patient controls had relatively increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during processing of negative depression related vs. neutral words whereas patients with cMDD had relatively decreased activity. Non-patient controls had relatively increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) activity during processing of positive vs. neutral words whereas patients with cMDD had relatively decreased activity. Explicit but not implicit self-associations with depression related words were associated with neural activity in the mPFC and the dlPFC. LIMITATIONS: The study did not include a clinical control group and therefore the specificity of findings remains unknown. CONCLUSIONS: The distinct neural processing of emotional self-relevant stimuli in the mPFC and the dlPFC in patients with cMDD might represent an emotional blunting response towards negative self-relevant stimuli.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-47
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume186
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Cite this

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title = "Neural correlates of self-referential processing and implicit self-associations in chronic depression",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Patients with depression tend to process negative information with regard to the self (i.e. self-referential processing). A better understanding of the neural underpinnings of self-referential processing in patients with depression is clinically important as it can inform on potential treatment targets. METHOD: This fMRI study sought to study the neural correlates of self-referential processing in patients with chronic major depressive disorder (cMDD) (n=17) and non-patient controls (n=18) using a passive processing paradigm. Stimuli consisted of positive, negative, negative depression related and neutral personality trait words or non-words. Participants were instructed to indicate whether a presented word was an existing word or a non-word while undergoing an fMRI scan. Participants also completed an explicit and an implicit measure of positive and negative self-associations outside the scanner. RESULTS: Non-patient controls had relatively increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during processing of negative depression related vs. neutral words whereas patients with cMDD had relatively decreased activity. Non-patient controls had relatively increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) activity during processing of positive vs. neutral words whereas patients with cMDD had relatively decreased activity. Explicit but not implicit self-associations with depression related words were associated with neural activity in the mPFC and the dlPFC. LIMITATIONS: The study did not include a clinical control group and therefore the specificity of findings remains unknown. CONCLUSIONS: The distinct neural processing of emotional self-relevant stimuli in the mPFC and the dlPFC in patients with cMDD might represent an emotional blunting response towards negative self-relevant stimuli.",
author = "F. Renner and N. Siep and J. Lobbestael and A. Arntz and F.P.M.L. Peeters and M.J.H. Huibers",
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language = "English",
volume = "186",
pages = "40--47",
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Neural correlates of self-referential processing and implicit self-associations in chronic depression. / Renner, F.; Siep, N.; Lobbestael, J.; Arntz, A.; Peeters, F.P.M.L.; Huibers, M.J.H.

In: Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 186, 01.01.2015, p. 40-47.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Neural correlates of self-referential processing and implicit self-associations in chronic depression

AU - Renner, F.

AU - Siep, N.

AU - Lobbestael, J.

AU - Arntz, A.

AU - Peeters, F.P.M.L.

AU - Huibers, M.J.H.

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - BACKGROUND: Patients with depression tend to process negative information with regard to the self (i.e. self-referential processing). A better understanding of the neural underpinnings of self-referential processing in patients with depression is clinically important as it can inform on potential treatment targets. METHOD: This fMRI study sought to study the neural correlates of self-referential processing in patients with chronic major depressive disorder (cMDD) (n=17) and non-patient controls (n=18) using a passive processing paradigm. Stimuli consisted of positive, negative, negative depression related and neutral personality trait words or non-words. Participants were instructed to indicate whether a presented word was an existing word or a non-word while undergoing an fMRI scan. Participants also completed an explicit and an implicit measure of positive and negative self-associations outside the scanner. RESULTS: Non-patient controls had relatively increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during processing of negative depression related vs. neutral words whereas patients with cMDD had relatively decreased activity. Non-patient controls had relatively increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) activity during processing of positive vs. neutral words whereas patients with cMDD had relatively decreased activity. Explicit but not implicit self-associations with depression related words were associated with neural activity in the mPFC and the dlPFC. LIMITATIONS: The study did not include a clinical control group and therefore the specificity of findings remains unknown. CONCLUSIONS: The distinct neural processing of emotional self-relevant stimuli in the mPFC and the dlPFC in patients with cMDD might represent an emotional blunting response towards negative self-relevant stimuli.

AB - BACKGROUND: Patients with depression tend to process negative information with regard to the self (i.e. self-referential processing). A better understanding of the neural underpinnings of self-referential processing in patients with depression is clinically important as it can inform on potential treatment targets. METHOD: This fMRI study sought to study the neural correlates of self-referential processing in patients with chronic major depressive disorder (cMDD) (n=17) and non-patient controls (n=18) using a passive processing paradigm. Stimuli consisted of positive, negative, negative depression related and neutral personality trait words or non-words. Participants were instructed to indicate whether a presented word was an existing word or a non-word while undergoing an fMRI scan. Participants also completed an explicit and an implicit measure of positive and negative self-associations outside the scanner. RESULTS: Non-patient controls had relatively increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during processing of negative depression related vs. neutral words whereas patients with cMDD had relatively decreased activity. Non-patient controls had relatively increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) activity during processing of positive vs. neutral words whereas patients with cMDD had relatively decreased activity. Explicit but not implicit self-associations with depression related words were associated with neural activity in the mPFC and the dlPFC. LIMITATIONS: The study did not include a clinical control group and therefore the specificity of findings remains unknown. CONCLUSIONS: The distinct neural processing of emotional self-relevant stimuli in the mPFC and the dlPFC in patients with cMDD might represent an emotional blunting response towards negative self-relevant stimuli.

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DO - 10.1016/j.jad.2015.07.008

M3 - Article

VL - 186

SP - 40

EP - 47

JO - Journal of Affective Disorders

JF - Journal of Affective Disorders

SN - 0165-0327

ER -