Ventral Striatum Functional Connectivity during Rewards and Losses and Symptomatology in Depressed Patients

Karina Quevedo, Rowena Ng, Hannah Scott, Srivastava Kodavaganti, Garry Smyda, Vaibhav Diwadkar, Mary Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background The ventral striatum (VS) and striatal network supports goal motivated behavior. Identifying how depressed patients differ in their striatal network during the processing of emotionally salient events is a step towards uncovering biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment. Methods 38 depressed and 30 healthy adults completed a task that examined brain activation to the anticipation and receipt of monetary rewards and losses. Data were collected using a 3T Siemens Trio scanner. Functional connectivity differences were examined with seeds in the Left or Right VS. FC estimates were regressed on specific symptoms. Results Depressed patients displayed higher functional connectivity between the VS and midline cortical areas during loss versus reward trials. Anhedonia and depressed mood were associated to fairly similar striatal circuits but suicidality was associated to a unique VS-midline structures coupling, while depression severity was linked to higher VS to caudate and precuneus connectivity during loss versus reward trials. Conclusions Depression is characterized by excessive VS coupling to cognitive control and associative networks during losses versus rewards. High VS to midline cortical structures coupling may index suicidality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-73
Number of pages12
JournalBiological Psychology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a NIMH, K01MH092601 to the first author and by an NMH, R01MH076971 to the last author. We are very grateful to Drs. Tom Zeffiro and Kathleen Thomas: key mentors and supporters of the first author’s K award application and progress. VAD acknowledges support from R01s, MH059299 and MH111177.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Adults
  • Anhedonia
  • Corticostriatal network
  • Depressed mood
  • Depression
  • Functional connectivity
  • Imaging
  • Reward circuitry
  • Suicidality
  • Ventral striatum

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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