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INTRODUCTION: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disease burden worldwide. Mood-congruent biases in memory tasks are frequently reported in MDD patients, with facilitated memory for negative stimuli. Most functional MRI studies to date have examined the neural correlates of these biases in depressed adults, with fewer studies in adolescents with MDD. Investigation of MDD in adolescence may aid greater understanding of the aetiology and development of the disorder. METHODS: Cognitive biases were investigated in 56 MDD patients aged 11-17 years and a matched group of 30 healthy control participants with a self-referential memory task. Behavioural performance and BOLD fMRI data were collected during both encoding and retrieval stages. RESULTS: The neural response to encoding in adolescents with MDD was found to differ significantly from controls. Additionally, neural responses during encoding and retrieval showed differential relationships with age between patient and control groups, specifically in medial, temporal, and prefrontal regions. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that during adolescence neurophysiological activity associated with emotional memory differs in those with depression compared to controls and may be age sensitive.

Original publication




Journal article


Dev Cogn Neurosci

Publication Date





31 - 41


Adolescence, Depression, Emotion, Memory, fMRI, Adolescent, Adolescent Behavior, Adult, Affect, Brain, Child, Depression, Depressive Disorder, Major, Emotions, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Memory, Photic Stimulation