Affective traits and history of depression are related to ventral striatum connectivity

Sophie R. DelDonno, Lisanne M. Jenkins, Natania A. Crane, Robin Nusslock, Kelly A. Ryan, Stewart A Shankman, K. Luan Phan, Scott A. Langenecker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Introduction Studying remitted Major Depressive Disorder (rMDD) facilitates a better understanding of neural mechanisms for risk, given that confounding effects of active symptoms are removed. Disrupted functional connectivity has been reported in multiple networks in MDD. However, no study to date of rMDD has specifically examined connectivity of the ventral striatum (VS), a region highly implicated in reward and motivation. We investigated functional connectivity of the VS in individuals with and without a history of MDD, and in relation to affective personality traits. Methods Forty-two individuals with rMDD and 28 healthy controls across two sites completed resting-state fMRI and the Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System Scale. Voxel-wise, whole-brain comparisons were conducted across and between groups for four seeds: left and right inferior VS (VSi), left and right superior VS (VSs). Results VSs connectivity to temporal and subcortical regions including the putamen and amygdala was positive and greater in HCs compared to rMDD individuals. Across groups, VSi connectivity was positively correlated with trait reward-responsiveness in somatomotor regions. Across groups, VSs connectivity was positively correlated with trait drive, particularly in the putamen, parahippocampal, and inferior temporal gyrus, and was negatively associated with trait behavioral inhibition in the anterior cingulate, frontal gyri, and insula. Limitations Limitations include scanning at two sites and using multiple comparisons. Discussion Group connectivity differences emerged from the VSs rather than VSi. VSs showed associations with trait drive and behavioral inhibition, whereas VSi corrrelated with reward-responsiveness. Depression history and affective traits contribute meaningful and specific information about VS connectivity in understanding risk for MDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Oct 15 2017


  • Affective traits
  • Depression
  • Functional connectivity
  • Reward-responsiveness
  • Ventral striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Affective traits and history of depression are related to ventral striatum connectivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this