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What Role Does the Prefrontal Cortex Play in the Processing of Negative and Positive Stimuli in Adolescent Depression?

School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AL, UK
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Brain Sci. 2019, 9(5), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9050104
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 May 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
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Abstract

This perspective describes the contribution of the prefrontal cortex to the symptoms of depression in adolescents and specifically the processing of positive and negative information. We also discuss how the prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity and connectivity during tasks and at rest might be a biomarker for risk for depression onset in adolescents. We include some of our recent work examining not only the anticipation and consummation of positive and negative stimuli, but also effort to gain positive and avoid negative stimuli in adolescents with depression. We find, using region of interest analyses, that the PFC is blunted in those with depression compared to controls across the different phases but in a larger sample the PFC is blunted in the anticipatory phase of the study only. Taken together, in adolescents with depression there is evidence for dysfunctional PFC activity across different studies and tasks. However, the data are limited with small sample sizes and inconsistent findings. Larger longitudinal studies with more detailed assessments of symptoms across the spectrum are needed to further evaluate the role of the PFC in adolescent depression. View Full-Text
Keywords: depression; adolescent; prefrontal cortex; neural; reward; positive and negative depression; adolescent; prefrontal cortex; neural; reward; positive and negative
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kaya, S.; McCabe, C. What Role Does the Prefrontal Cortex Play in the Processing of Negative and Positive Stimuli in Adolescent Depression? Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 104.

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