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In this task, participants responded by button press to target (“go”) stimuli that were emotionally valent (e.g., sad) while inhibiting their response to distractor (“no-go”) stimuli of a different valence (e.g., happy).The cingulate, inferior frontal gyrus, and insula cortex are most frequently activated during the inhibition of emotional distractors in the AGNG task (17–25).Men are more liable to persistent depression whereas women tend to suffer from a more episodic disorder (8).
This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (f MRI) to explore cognitive control among emotional distractions during a widely used affective go/no-go (AGNG) task.
In response to sad relative to neutral distractors, significant sex differences (in the supramarginal gyrus) and group-by-sex interactions (in the supramarginal gyrus and the posterior cingulate cortex) were found.
Furthermore, in contrast to the healthy male adolescents, depressed male adolescents showed decreased activation in the cerebellum with a significant group-by-age interaction in connectivity.
Consequently, research into MDD occurring at this early stage of adolescence avoids these complicating social factors.
Despite strong evidence suggesting poor outcomes, male MDD is underrepresented in the extant literature.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first f MRI study specifically addressing aberrancy in brain activation in males with MDD, and sex differences in cognitive control in adolescents with MDD.