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Depressed Subjects Have Decreased rCBF Activation During Facial Emotion Recognition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2014


Depressed subjects have deficits in facialemotion recognition that resemble the deficits found in persons with focal right hemisphere brain damage. To locate the brain regions responsible for this problem, the authors imaged regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with H2O15 positron emission tomography in 10 mood-disordered patients, as well as in 10 age- and sex-matched healthy comparison subjects, while the subjects matched photographs for facial emotion or, as a control, facial identity. While matching faces for emotion, mood-disordered subjects had decreased rCBF activation bilaterally in their temporal lobes, as well as in the right insula, compared with healthy comparison subjects. Abnormal function of limbic and paraiimbic regions may partially explain the facial emotion-recognition deficits previously noted in depressed subjects.

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