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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018 Aug;43(9):1972-1979. doi: 10.1038/s41386-018-0081-1. Epub 2018 May 2.

Aberrant working memory processing in major depression: evidence from multivoxel pattern classification.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12203, Berlin, Germany. matti.gaertner@charite.de.
2
MSB-Medical School Berlin, Calandrellistraße 1-9, 12247, Berlin, Germany. matti.gaertner@charite.de.
3
Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETH Zurich, Mattenstrasse 26, 4058, Basel, Switzerland.
4
SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Basel, Switzerland.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich, 8032, Zurich, Switzerland.
6
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12203, Berlin, Germany.
7
Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion, Freie Universität, HabelschwerdterAllee 45, 14195, Berlin, Germany.
8
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany.
9
Institute of Physics, Ernst-Moritz Arndt University Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
10
Department of Psychology, University of Exeter, Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders Research, Perry Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK.
11
MSB-Medical School Berlin, Calandrellistraße 1-9, 12247, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is often accompanied by severe impairments in working memory (WM). Neuroimaging studies investigating the mechanisms underlying these impairments have produced conflicting results. It remains unclear whether MDD patients show hyper- or hypoactivity in WM-related brain regions and how potential aberrations in WM processing may contribute to the characteristic dysregulation of cognition-emotion interactions implicated in the maintenance of the disorder. In order to shed light on these questions and to overcome limitations of previous studies, we applied a multivoxel pattern classification approach to investigate brain activity in large samples of MDD patients (N = 57) and matched healthy controls (N = 61) during a WM task that incorporated positive, negative, and neutral stimuli. Results showed that patients can be distinguished from healthy controls with good classification accuracy based on functional activation patterns. ROI analyses based on the classification weight maps showed that during WM, patients had higher activity in the left DLPFC and the dorsal ACC. Furthermore, regions of the default-mode network (DMN) were less deactivated in patients. As no performance differences were observed, we conclude that patients required more effort, indexed by more activity in WM-related regions, to successfully perform the task. This increased effort might be related to difficulties in suppressing task-irrelevant information reflected by reduced deactivation of regions within the DMN. Effects were most pronounced for negative and neutral stimuli, thus pointing toward important implications of aberrations in WM processes in cognition-emotion interactions in MDD.

PMID:
29777198
PMCID:
PMC6046039
[Available on 2019-08-01]
DOI:
10.1038/s41386-018-0081-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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