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Upper alpha activity during working memory processing reflects abnormal inhibition in major depression

Segrave, RA and Thomson, RH and Cooper, NR and Croft, RJ and Sheppard, DM and Fitzgerald, PB (2010) 'Upper alpha activity during working memory processing reflects abnormal inhibition in major depression.' Journal of Affective Disorders, 127 (1-3). pp. 191-198. ISSN 0165-0327

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Background: EEG studies examining 'resting' state (i.e. non-task) state brain activity in major depressive disorder (MDD) have reported numerous abnormalities within the alpha bandwidth. These findings are discussed extensively within affective disorders literature but their relationship to functional aspects of depressive psychopathology remains unclear. Investigating alpha modulation during active cognitive processing may provide a more targeted means of relating aberrant alpha activity to specific aspects of depression symptomatology. Alpha activity is reliably modulated during working memory (WM) processing and WM impairments are a common neuropsychological consequence of MDD. Moreover, it has been suggested that alpha activity reflects internally mediated inhibitory process and attenuated inhibition has been suggested to contribute to WM inefficacy. Aim: The current investigation examined whether alpha was modulated differently in MDD participants during WM processing and whether the pattern of alpha activity was consistent with impairments in inhibitory processes. Method: Event related synchronisation (ERS) within the upper alpha band over the retention interval of a modified Sternberg WM task was examined in 15 acutely depressed and 15 never depressed right-handed female participants. Results: MDD participants displayed greater upper alpha ERS than controls during the online information maintenance component of WM processing. This was evident over left, but not right, parieto-occipital cortex. Conclusion: The results are consistent with increased inhibition of extraneous material during WM processing in depression. This may reflect a neurobiological compensation strategy whereby additional neural resources are required to achieve comparable performance accuracy during effortful cognitive processing in MDD. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: EEG; Alpha; Major depression; Inhibition; Working memory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2011 10:55
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:23

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