Neuroimaging markers of major depressive disorder: orbitomedial prefrontal cortex and beyond

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Major Depression is neurobiologically characterized by abnormal function of various brain areas and altered communication within neural networks. In this thesis, recently developed MRI methods were applied to systematically map the organization of the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex (OMPFC). Subsequently, results were used to examine OMPFC connectivity disturbances in depression. Altered communication of two brain areas (rostral cingulate and anterior insula) was found in both people at genetic risk of depression and patients. Both groups also exhibited abnormal reactivity of various brain regions during processing of faces (neutral, happy or sad). This PhD research reveals that specific connectivity and reactivity aberrations precede the onset of depressive episodes and might, thus, contribute to their development. The methods and results might be used in the future for preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic applications in psychiatry.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Ramaekers, Jan, Supervisor
  • Stiers, Peter, Co-Supervisor
  • Evers, Lisbeth, Co-Supervisor
Award date6 Nov 2015
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789086663910
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • depression
  • MRI connectivity


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