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Biol Psychol. 2016 Jul;118:147-153. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.05.006. Epub 2016 May 18.

Altered engagement of autobiographical memory networks in adult offspring of postnatally depressed mothers.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AL, United Kingdom. Electronic address: b.e.henne@pgr.reading.ac.uk.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AL, United Kingdom; Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa. Electronic address: lynne.murray@reading.ac.uk.
3
Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB, United Kingdom; Department of Psychology, School of Social & Behavioural Sciences, University of Kingston, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2EE, UK. Electronic address: c.moutsiana@ucl.ac.uk.
4
Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB, United Kingdom. Electronic address: p.fearon@ucl.ac.uk.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AL, United Kingdom; Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa. Electronic address: p.j.cooper@reading.ac.uk.
6
Department of Psychology, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom; Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, J-Block, Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa. Electronic address: s.l.halligan@bath.ac.uk.
7
Department of Psychology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AL, United Kingdom. Electronic address: i.t.johnstone@reading.ac.uk.

Abstract

Maternal depression is associated with increased risk for offspring mood and anxiety disorders. One possible impact of maternal depression during offspring development is on the emotional autobiographical memory system. We investigated the neural mechanisms of emotional autobiographical memory in adult offspring of mothers with postnatal depression (N=16) compared to controls (N=21). During fMRI, recordings of participants describing one pleasant and one unpleasant situation with their mother and with a companion, were used as prompts to re-live the situations. Compared to controls we predicted the PND offspring would show: greater activation in medial and posterior brain regions implicated in autobiographical memory and rumination; and decreased activation in lateral prefrontal cortex and decreased connectivity between lateral prefrontal and posterior regions, reflecting reduced control of autobiographical recall. For negative situations, we found no group differences. For positive situations with their mothers, PND offspring showed higher activation than controls in left lateral prefrontal cortex, right frontal pole, cingulate cortex and precuneus, and lower connectivity of right middle frontal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, thalamus and lingual gyrus with the posterior cingulate. Our results are consistent with adult offspring of PND mothers having less efficient prefrontal regulation of personally relevant pleasant autobiographical memories.

KEYWORDS:

Autobiographical memory; Development; Emotion; Executive function; Postnatal depression; Prefrontal cortex; Regulation; Risk

PMID:
27208693
PMCID:
PMC4962770
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.05.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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