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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Nov;70:271-287. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.07.024. Epub 2016 Jul 25.

Adolescent brain development and depression: A case for the importance of connectivity of the anterior cingulate cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA; Center for the Neural Bases of Cognition, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
2
Center for the Neural Bases of Cognition, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA; Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA; Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA; Center for the Neural Bases of Cognition, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. Electronic address: forbese@upmc.edu.

Abstract

We propose that structural and functional connectivity of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) represents a critical component of adolescent developmental psychopathology. We hypothesize that connectivity of the ACC, a hub for integrating cognitive, affective, and social information to guide self-regulation across domains, supports adaptive development of self-regulation during adolescence and that, conversely, disrupted maturation of ACC connectivity contributes to the development of depression. To integrate findings on typical development, we report results of a meta-analysis of diffusion imaging findings of typical adolescent development of the cingulum and anterior thalamic radiations, the tracts most relevant to ACC connectivity, and provide a critical review of the literature on ACC functional connectivity. Finally, we review the evidence for altered structural and functional connectivity in adolescents with depression. Although the evidence for our claim is persuasive, a more comprehensive understanding of the ACC's role depends upon future investigations with sophisticated modeling of networks, prospective and longitudinal designs, and examination of structure-function associations.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Affect regulation; Anterior cingulate cortex; Connectivity; Depression; Development

PMID:
27461914
PMCID:
PMC5074859
DOI:
10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.07.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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