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The effect of acute tryptophan depletion on the neural correlates of emotional processing in healthy volunteers


Roiser, J P; Levy, J; Fromm, S J; Wang, H; Hasler, G; Sahakian, B J; Drevets, W C (2008). The effect of acute tryptophan depletion on the neural correlates of emotional processing in healthy volunteers. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33(8):1992-2006.

Abstract

The processing of affective material is known to be modulated by serotonin (5-HT), but few studies have used neurophysiological measures to characterize the effect of changes in 5-HT on neural responses to emotional stimuli. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the effect of acute tryptophan depletion, which reduces central 5-HT synthesis, on neural responses to emotionally valenced verbal stimuli. Though no participants experienced significant mood change, emotional information processing was substantially modified following 5-HT depletion. A behavioral bias toward positive stimuli was attenuated following depletion, which was accompanied by increased hemodynamic responses during the processing of emotional words in several subcortical structures. Inter-individual differences in tryptophan depletion-elicited anxiety correlated positively with the caudate bias toward negative stimuli. These data suggest that 5-HT may play an important role in mediating automatic negative attentional biases in major depression, as well as resilience against negative distracting stimuli in never-depressed individuals.

Abstract

The processing of affective material is known to be modulated by serotonin (5-HT), but few studies have used neurophysiological measures to characterize the effect of changes in 5-HT on neural responses to emotional stimuli. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the effect of acute tryptophan depletion, which reduces central 5-HT synthesis, on neural responses to emotionally valenced verbal stimuli. Though no participants experienced significant mood change, emotional information processing was substantially modified following 5-HT depletion. A behavioral bias toward positive stimuli was attenuated following depletion, which was accompanied by increased hemodynamic responses during the processing of emotional words in several subcortical structures. Inter-individual differences in tryptophan depletion-elicited anxiety correlated positively with the caudate bias toward negative stimuli. These data suggest that 5-HT may play an important role in mediating automatic negative attentional biases in major depression, as well as resilience against negative distracting stimuli in never-depressed individuals.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:08 Jan 2009 09:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:47
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0893-133X (P) 1470-634X (E)
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.npp.1301581
PubMed ID:17882232

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