Disrupted engagement of networks supporting hot and cold cognition in remitted major depressive disorder

Jonathan P. Stange, Lisanne M. Jenkins, Elissa J. Hamlat, Katie L. Bessette, Sophie R. DelDonno, Leah R. Kling, Alessandra M. Passarotti, K. Luan Phan, Heide Klumpp, Kelly A. Ryan, Scott A. Langenecker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by dysfunction in cognitive and emotional systems. However, the neural network correlates of cognitive control (cold cognition) and emotion processing (hot cognition) during the remitted state of MDD (rMDD) remain unclear and not fully probed, which has important implications for identifying intermediate phenotypes of depression risk. Methods 43 young adults with rMDD and 33 healthy controls (HCs) underwent fMRI while completing separate tasks of cold cognition (Parametric Go/No-Go test) and hot cognition (Facial Emotion Processing Test). Two 2 group (rMDD, HC) × 2 event (sad/fearful faces, correct rejections) factorial models of activation were calculated in SPM8. Functional activation was evaluated in the salience and emotional network (SEN) and the cognitive control network (CCN), including hypothesized interaction between group and task within the CCN. Results Individuals with rMDD demonstrated greater spatial extent of suprathreshold activation within the SEN during sad faces relative to HCs. There were several regions within the CCN in which HCs showed greater activation than rMDD during correct rejections of lures, whereas individuals with rMDD showed greater activation than HCs during sad or fearful faces. Limitations Results were not directly compared with active MDD. Conclusions These results provide evidence of deficient CCN engagement during cognitive control in rMDD (dysfunctional cold cognition). Elevated SEN activation during sad faces could represent heightened salience of negative emotional faces in rMDD; elevated CCN activation during emotional faces in rMDD could represent compensatory regulatory control. These group differences may represent vulnerability factors, scars of prior depressive episodes, or processes maintaining wellness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Feb 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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