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Response selection deficits in melancholic but not nonmelancholic unipolar major depression

journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2004, 00:00 authored by Mark RogersMark Rogers, M A Bellgrove, E Chiu, C Mileshkin, J L Bradshaw
One consistent functional imaging finding from patients with major depression has been abnormality of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Hypoperfusion has been most commonly reported, but some studies suggest relative hyperperfusion is associated with response to somatic treatments. Despite these indications of the possible importance of the ACC in depression there have been relatively few cognitive studies ACC function in patients with major depression. The present study employed a series of reaction time (RT) tasks involving selection with melancholic and nonmelancholic depressed patients, as well as age-matched controls. Fifteen patients with unipolar major depression (7 melancholic, 8 nonmelancholic) and 8 healthy age-matched controls performed a series of response selection tasks (choice RT, spatial Stroop, spatial stimulus-response compatibility (SRC), and a combined Stroop + SRC condition). Reaction time and error data were collected. Melancholic patients were significantly slower than controls on all tasks but were slower than nonmelancholic patients only on the Stroop and Stroop + SRC conditions. Nonmelancholic patients did not differ from the control group on any task. The Stroop task seems crucial in differentiating the two depressive groups, they did not differ on the choice RT or SRC tasks. This may reflect differential task demands, the SRC involved symbolic manipulation that might engage the dorsal ACC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to a greater extent than the, primarily inhibitory, Stroop task which may engage the ventral ACC and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). This might suggest the melancholic group showed a greater ventral ACC-OFC deficit than the nonmelancholic group, while both groups showed similar dorsal ACC-DLPFC deficit.

History

Journal

Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology

Volume

26

Issue

2

Pagination

169 - 179

Publisher

Psychology Press

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1380-3395

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2004, Taylor & Francis