Deficits in frontoparietal activation and anterior insula functional connectivity during regulation of cognitive-affective interference in bipolar disorder

Kristen K. Ellard, Aishwarya K. Gosai, Julia M. Felicione, Amy T. Peters, Conor V. Shea, Louisa G. Sylvia, Andrew A. Nierenberg, Alik S. Widge, Darin D. Dougherty, Thilo Deckersbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: Bipolar disorders (BD) are characterized by emotion and cognitive dysregulation. Mapping deficits in the neurocircuitry of cognitive-affective regulation allows for potential identification of intervention targets. This study used functional MRI data in BD patients and healthy controls during performance on a task requiring cognitive and inhibitory control superimposed on affective images, assessing cognitive and affective interference. Methods: Functional MRI data were collected from 39 BD patients and 36 healthy controls during performance on the Multi-Source Interference Task overlaid on images from the International Affective Picture System (MSIT-IAPS). Analyses examined patterns of activation in a priori regions implicated in cognitive and emotional processing. Functional connectivity to the anterior insula during task performance was also examined, given this region's role in emotion-cognition integration. Results: BD patients showed significantly less activation during cognitive interference trials in inferior parietal lobule, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, anterior insula, mid-cingulate, and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex regardless of affective valence. BD patients showed deviations in functional connectivity with anterior insula in regions of the default mode and frontoparietal control networks during negatively valenced cognitive interference trials. Conclusions: Our findings show disruptions in cognitive regulation and inhibitory control in BD patients in the presence of irrelevant affective distractors. Results of this study suggest one pathway to dysregulation in BD is through inefficient integration of affective and cognitive information, and highlight the importance of developing interventions that target emotion-cognition integration in BD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-258
Number of pages15
JournalBipolar Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Multi Source Interference Task
  • bipolar disorder
  • cognition
  • emotion regulation
  • fMRI

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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