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Altered effective connectivity in sensorimotor cortices is a signature of severity and clinical course in depression

Ray, D; Bezmaternykh, D; Mel'nikov, M; Friston, KJ; Das, M; (2021) Altered effective connectivity in sensorimotor cortices is a signature of severity and clinical course in depression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) , 118 (40) , Article e2105730118. 10.1073/pnas.2105730118. Green open access

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Abstract

Functional neuroimaging research on depression has traditionally targeted neural networks associated with the psychological aspects of depression. In this study, instead, we focus on alterations of sensorimotor function in depression. We used resting-state functional MRI data and dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to assess the hypothesis that depression is associated with aberrant effective connectivity within and between key regions in the sensorimotor hierarchy. Using hierarchical modeling of between-subject effects in DCM with parametric empirical Bayes we first established the architecture of effective connectivity in sensorimotor cortices. We found that in (interoceptive and exteroceptive) sensory cortices across participants, the backward connections are predominantly inhibitory, whereas the forward connections are mainly excitatory in nature. In motor cortices these parities were reversed. With increasing depression severity, these patterns are depreciated in exteroceptive and motor cortices and augmented in the interoceptive cortex, an observation that speaks to depressive symptomatology. We established the robustness of these results in a leave-one-out cross-validation analysis and by reproducing the main results in a follow-up dataset. Interestingly, with (nonpharmacological) treatment, depression-associated changes in backward and forward effective connectivity partially reverted to group mean levels. Overall, altered effective connectivity in sensorimotor cortices emerges as a promising and quantifiable candidate marker of depression severity and treatment response.

Type: Article
Title: Altered effective connectivity in sensorimotor cortices is a signature of severity and clinical course in depression
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2105730118
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2105730118
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Depression, effective connectivity, embodiment, predictive processes, spectral DCM
UCL classification: UCL
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 > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10136305
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