An fMRI study of attentional control in the context of emotional distracters in euthymic adults with bipolar disorder

Benjamin C. Mullin, Susan B. Perlman, Amelia Versace, Jorge R.C. de Almeida, Edmund J. LaBarbara, Crystal Klein, Cecile D. Ladouceur, Mary L. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Inability to modulate attention away from emotional stimuli may be a key component of dysregulated emotion in bipolar disorder (BD). Previous studies of BD indicate abnormalities in neural circuitry underlying attentional control, yet few studies examined attentional control in the context of emotional distracters. We compared activity and connectivity in neural circuitry supporting attentional control and emotion processing among 22 individuals with BD type 1, currently remitted and euthymic, and 19 healthy controls. Participants performed an emotional n-back paradigm, comprising high and low attentional demand conditions, each with either emotional (happy, fearful), neutral or no face flanker distracters. During the high attentional control demand conditions without emotional distracters, BD individuals showed reduced activity relative to controls in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), and inferior parietal cortex. During the high attentional control demand conditions with fearful-face distracters, BD individuals showed greater activity than controls in these regions and amygdala and striatum. Relative to controls, BD individuals also showed abnormal patterns of effective connectivity between dACC and amygdala during high attentional control demand with emotional face distracters. Inter-episode bipolar disorder is characterized by abnormal recruitment of attentional control neural circuitry, especially in the context of emotionally distracting information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-205
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume201
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 31 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Effective connectivity
  • Emotion regulation
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Working memory

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    Mullin, B. C., Perlman, S. B., Versace, A., de Almeida, J. R. C., LaBarbara, E. J., Klein, C., Ladouceur, C. D., & Phillips, M. L. (2012). An fMRI study of attentional control in the context of emotional distracters in euthymic adults with bipolar disorder. Psychiatry Research - Neuroimaging, 201(3), 196-205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.09.002