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Neurosci Lett. 2007 Apr 6;416(1):43-8. Epub 2007 Mar 2.

Depressed mood and lateralized prefrontal activity during a Stroop task in adolescent children.

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  • 1Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA 02478, USA.


Negative affective style and depressive disorders share a common pattern of brain activation asymmetry in adults, characterized by reduced left relative to right prefrontal activation. It is not clear whether a similar pattern of asymmetry is related to depressive mood state during the period of adolescence, an important stage of emotional and brain development. We correlated Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores from 16 adolescents with prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and amygdala activity during functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) of the Stroop Interference task. Depressed mood correlated positively with activity in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate gyrus, and negatively with activity in the right DLPFC. When interpreted from a compensatory recruitment perspective, findings suggest that affective lateralization in adolescents is consistent with that seen in adulthood.

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