Individuals with more severe depression fail to sustain nucleus accumbens activity to preferred music over time

Lisanne M. Jenkins, Kristy A. Skerrett, Sophie R. DelDonno, Víctor G. Patrón, Kortni K. Meyers, Scott Peltier, Jon Kar Zubieta, Scott A. Langenecker*, Monica N. Starkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated the ability of preferred classical music to activate the nucleus accumbens in patients with Major depressive disorder (MDD). Twelve males with MDD and 10 never mentally ill male healthy controls (HC) completed measures of anhedonia and depression severity, and listened to 90-second segments of preferred classical music during fMRI. Compared to HCs, individuals with MDD showed less activation of the left nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Individuals with MDD showed attenuation of the left NAcc response in later compared to earlier parts of the experiment, supporting theories that MDD involves an inability to sustain reward network activation. Counter intuitively, we found that NAcc activity during early music listening was associated with greater depression severity. In whole-brain analyses, anhedonia scores predicted activity in regions within the default mode network, supporting previous findings. Our results support theories that MDD involves an inability to sustain reward network activation. It also highlights that pleasant classical music can engage critical neural reward circuitry in MDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume275
DOIs
StatePublished - May 30 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anhedonia
  • Classical music
  • MDD
  • Major depression
  • Mood induction
  • Ventral striatum
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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