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Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2016 Dec 30;258:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.10.006. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

Functional connectivity during masked and unmasked face emotion processing in bipolar disorder.

Author information

1
Emotion and Development Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address: wan-ling.tseng@nih.gov.
2
War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.
3
Emotion and Development Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA.
4
Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

Little is known regarding the neural connectivity and correlates during automatic, unconscious face emotion processing in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD). In this study, 14 adults with BD and 14 healthy volunteers (HV) underwent fMRI scanning while completing an affective priming task with unconsciously perceived and consciously perceived faces (angry, happy, neutral, blank oval). We found that, regardless of awareness level and emotion types, BD patients exhibited diminished functional connectivity between amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) compared to HV. This connectivity finding is present in the absence of activation differences in amygdala. In addition, in medial frontal gyrus, BD patients displayed greater activation while HV displayed less activation to angry and neutral faces compared to blank ovals. These results suggest that aberrant amygdala-vmPFC connectivity and neural dysfunction in areas implicated in appraisal and expression of emotions (medial frontal gyrus) may be the pathophysiological correlates of emotional processing in BD regardless of awareness level.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00006177.

KEYWORDS:

Backward masking; Bipolar disorder; Face emotion processing; Functional connectivity; Functional neuroimaging

PMID:
27814457
PMCID:
PMC5135603
DOI:
10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.10.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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