Effects of salience-network-node neurofeedback training on affective biases in major depressive disorder. Psychiatry research Hamilton, J. P., Glover, G. H., Bagarinao, E., Chang, C., Mackey, S., Sacchet, M. D., Gotlib, I. H. 2016; 249: 91-96


Neural models of major depressive disorder (MDD) posit that over-response of components of the brain's salience network (SN) to negative stimuli plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of MDD. In the present proof-of-concept study, we tested this formulation directly by examining the affective consequences of training depressed persons to down-regulate response of SN nodes to negative material. Ten participants in the real neurofeedback group saw, and attempted to learn to down-regulate, activity from an empirically identified node of the SN. Ten other participants engaged in an equivalent procedure with the exception that they saw SN-node neurofeedback indices from participants in the real neurofeedback group. Before and after scanning, all participants completed tasks assessing emotional responses to negative scenes and to negative and positive self-descriptive adjectives. Compared to participants in the sham-neurofeedback group, from pre- to post-training, participants in the real-neurofeedback group showed a greater decrease in SN-node response to negative stimuli, a greater decrease in self-reported emotional response to negative scenes, and a greater decrease in self-reported emotional response to negative self-descriptive adjectives. Our findings provide support for a neural formulation in which the SN plays a primary role in contributing to negative cognitive biases in MDD.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.01.016

View details for PubMedID 26862057