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Reward-Processing Behavior in Depressed Participants Relative to Healthy Volunteers: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Halahakoon, DC; Kieslich, K; O'Driscoll, C; Nair, A; Lewis, G; Roiser, JP; (2020) Reward-Processing Behavior in Depressed Participants Relative to Healthy Volunteers: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.2139. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Dysfunctional reward processing is a leading candidate mechanism for the development of certain depressive symptoms, such as anhedonia. However, to our knowledge, there has not yet been a systematic assessment of whether and to what extent depression is associated with impairments on behavioral reward-processing tasks. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether depression is associated with impairments in reward-processing behavior. DATA SOURCES: The MEDLINE/PubMed, Embase, and PsycInfo databases were searched for studies that investigated reward processing using performance on behavioral tasks by individuals with depression and nondepressed control groups, published between January 1, 1946, and August 16, 2019. STUDY SELECTION: Studies that contained data regarding performance by depressed and healthy control groups on reward-processing tasks were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Summary statistics comparing performance between depressed and healthy groups on reward-processing tasks were converted to standardized mean difference (SMD) scores, from which summary effect sizes for overall impairment in reward processing and 4 subcomponent categories were calculated. Study quality, heterogeneity, replicability-index, and publication bias were also assessed. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURES: Performance on reward-processing tasks. RESULTS: The final data set comprised 48 case-control studies (1387 healthy control individuals and 1767 individuals with major depressive disorder). The mean age was 37.85 years and 58% of the participants were women. These studies used tasks assessing option valuation (n = 9), reward bias (n = 6), reward response vigor (n = 12), reinforcement learning (n = 20), and grip force (n = 1). Across all tasks, depression was associated with small to medium impairments in reward-processing behavior (SMD = 0.345; 95% CI, 0.209-0.480). When examining reward-processing subcomponent categories, impairment was associated with tasks assessing option valuation (SMD = 0.309; 95% CI, 0.147-0.471), reward bias (SMD = 0.644; 95% CI, 0.270-1.017), and reinforcement learning (SMD = 0.352; 95% CI, 0.115-0.588) but not reward response vigor (SMD = 0.083; 95% CI, −0.144 to 0.309). The medication status of the major depressive disorder sample did not explain any of the variance in the overall effect size. There was significant between-study heterogeneity overall and in all subcomponent categories other than option valuation. Significant publication bias was identified overall and in the reinforcement learning category. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Relative to healthy control individuals, individuals with depression exhibit reward-processing impairments, particularly for tests of reward bias, option valuation, and reinforcement learning. Understanding the neural mechanisms driving these associations may assist in designing novel interventions.

Type: Article
Title: Reward-Processing Behavior in Depressed Participants Relative to Healthy Volunteers: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.2139
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.2139
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2020 Halahakoon DC et al. JAMA Psychiatry.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106711
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