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The effect of pre- vs. post-reward attainment on EEG asymmetry in melancholic depression.

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Title: The effect of pre- vs. post-reward attainment on EEG asymmetry in melancholic depression.
Author(s): Shankman, Stewart A.; Klein, Daniel N.
Subject(s): positive affect melancholia
Abstract: Clinical investigators have long theorized about the role of reward processing and positive affect in depression. One theory posits that compared to nonmelancholic depressives, melancholic depressives experience less consummatory (i.e., post-reward), but comparably low anticipatory (prior to reward), positive affect. We tested whether frontal EEG asymmetry, a putative marker of the anticipatory reward system, is present only before an individual receives a reward or also after receiving a reward (i.e., during consummatory reward processing). We also examined whether melancholic depression, a condition characterized by a deficit in consummatory reward processing, is associated with abnormal EEG asymmetries in alpha band power. Effects in other frequency bands (delta, theta, or beta) were also explored. EEG was recorded in 34 controls, 48 nonmelancholic depressives, and 17 melancholic depressives during a slot machine task designed to elicit anticipatory and consummatory reward processing. Results indicated that, for alpha, the frontal EEG asymmetry of greater relative left activity was specific to anticipatory reward processing. During the consummatory phase, individuals with melancholic depression exhibited different posterior EEG asymmetries than individuals with nonmelancholic depression and controls at a trend level. This second finding was largely due to melancholics exhibiting relatively lower right posterior activity and nonmelancholics exhibiting relatively lower left activity. These results suggest that a posterior asymmetry may be a marker for melancholic depression and aberrant consummatory reward processing.
Issue Date: 2011-02
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation Info: Shankman, S. A., Sarapas, C., & Klein, D. N. 2010. The Effect of Pre vs. Post-Reward Attainment on EEG Asymmetry in Melancholic Depression. International Journal of Psychophysiology. 79(2):287-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2010.11.004
Type: Article
Description: Post print version of article may differ from published version. The definitive version is available through Elsevier at DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2010.11.004
ISSN: 1872-7697
Sponsor: This study was supported by the APF and COGDOP Clarence J. Rosecrans Scholarship as well as NIMH grant F31 MH67309, both awarded to Stewart A. Shankman.
Date Available in INDIGO: 2011-05-05

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