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Attenuated LPP to Emotional Face Stimuli Associated with Parent- and Self-Reported Depression in Children and Adolescents


Grunewald, Madlen; Döhnert, Mirko; Brandeis, Daniel; Klein, Annette Maria; von Klitzing, Kai; Matuschek, Tina; Stadelmann, Stephanie (2019). Attenuated LPP to Emotional Face Stimuli Associated with Parent- and Self-Reported Depression in Children and Adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47(1):109-118.

Abstract

Individuals diagnosed with a depressive disorder have been found to show reduced reactions to emotional information consistent with the hypothesis of an emotional context insensitivity. However, there are contradictory findings of enhanced reactivity and mood-congruent processing. Electroencephalography (EEG) recordings of the late positive potential (LPP) can display such blunted or enhanced activity. Due to these contradictory findings, there is a need to clarify the role of the LPP in the emergence and presence of depressive disorders especially in children. We used an emotional Go/NoGo task to investigate modulations of the LPP to emotional (fearful, happy, sad) and calm faces in a sample of children and adolescents (age 11;00-14;11) diagnosed with a depressive disorder according to diagnostic parent interviews (K-SADS-PL) (n = 26) compared to a group of age-matched healthy controls (n = 26). LPP positivity was attenuated in children and adolescents with a depressive disorder as well as with higher self-reported depressive symptoms, suggesting reduced reactivity to emotional and calm faces. This is the first study to find generally blunted LPP responses in a clinical sample of depressed youth across reporters. Such dysfunctional modulation of neural activity may represent a potential biomarker for depressive disorders. The results call for further prospective studies investigating the course of the LPP before and after the onset of a depressive disorder in youth.

Abstract

Individuals diagnosed with a depressive disorder have been found to show reduced reactions to emotional information consistent with the hypothesis of an emotional context insensitivity. However, there are contradictory findings of enhanced reactivity and mood-congruent processing. Electroencephalography (EEG) recordings of the late positive potential (LPP) can display such blunted or enhanced activity. Due to these contradictory findings, there is a need to clarify the role of the LPP in the emergence and presence of depressive disorders especially in children. We used an emotional Go/NoGo task to investigate modulations of the LPP to emotional (fearful, happy, sad) and calm faces in a sample of children and adolescents (age 11;00-14;11) diagnosed with a depressive disorder according to diagnostic parent interviews (K-SADS-PL) (n = 26) compared to a group of age-matched healthy controls (n = 26). LPP positivity was attenuated in children and adolescents with a depressive disorder as well as with higher self-reported depressive symptoms, suggesting reduced reactivity to emotional and calm faces. This is the first study to find generally blunted LPP responses in a clinical sample of depressed youth across reporters. Such dysfunctional modulation of neural activity may represent a potential biomarker for depressive disorders. The results call for further prospective studies investigating the course of the LPP before and after the onset of a depressive disorder in youth.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Developmental and Educational Psychology
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Language:English
Date:1 January 2019
Deposited On:25 Oct 2018 09:14
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 07:50
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0091-0627
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-018-0429-3
PubMed ID:29679244

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