How Stress Alters Neural Systems of Reinforcement: A Model of Depressive Etiology

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195421
Title:
How Stress Alters Neural Systems of Reinforcement: A Model of Depressive Etiology
Author:
Cavanagh, James F.
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The primary goal of the proposed research is to identify how stress is internalized to affect cognitive functioning and increase the risk for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Dysfunctional stress reactivity has been proposed to be a risk factor for ongoing affective distress, yet mechanisms underlying this process remain unexplained. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been implicated in the etiology of MDD, in the reactivity to stress, as well as in the adaptation of behavior to reinforcement. The combined activities of this particular neural system identify it as a focal node by which stress may be internalized to affect cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning. The experiments detailed here examined electroencephalographic (EEG) features that reflect cognitive control functions in the mPFC. Participants underwent EEG assessment as they completed a reinforcement (reward and punishment) learning task sensitive to mPFC-basal ganglia functioning, both with and without a laboratory stress manipulation. This experiment assessed how stress reactivity altered neural systems of reinforcement, and it contrasted these same factors with currently depressed individuals. In this series of investigations, we have identified a measure of how, and a possible mechanism by which, punishment information is internalized in stress reactivity and in the expression of MDD: error and punishment signals are increasingly coupled with the salience of "bad" outcomes. Stress-related alteration of reward and punishment learning systems - particularly in the mPFC - is a viable candidate for how dysfunctional stress reactive responses are translated into ongoing cognitive and affective distress in depression.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Depression; EEG; Prediction; Punishment; Reward; Stress
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Psychology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Allen, John J.B.
Committee Chair:
Allen, John J.B.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleHow Stress Alters Neural Systems of Reinforcement: A Model of Depressive Etiologyen_US
dc.creatorCavanagh, James F.en_US
dc.contributor.authorCavanagh, James F.en_US
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe primary goal of the proposed research is to identify how stress is internalized to affect cognitive functioning and increase the risk for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Dysfunctional stress reactivity has been proposed to be a risk factor for ongoing affective distress, yet mechanisms underlying this process remain unexplained. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been implicated in the etiology of MDD, in the reactivity to stress, as well as in the adaptation of behavior to reinforcement. The combined activities of this particular neural system identify it as a focal node by which stress may be internalized to affect cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning. The experiments detailed here examined electroencephalographic (EEG) features that reflect cognitive control functions in the mPFC. Participants underwent EEG assessment as they completed a reinforcement (reward and punishment) learning task sensitive to mPFC-basal ganglia functioning, both with and without a laboratory stress manipulation. This experiment assessed how stress reactivity altered neural systems of reinforcement, and it contrasted these same factors with currently depressed individuals. In this series of investigations, we have identified a measure of how, and a possible mechanism by which, punishment information is internalized in stress reactivity and in the expression of MDD: error and punishment signals are increasingly coupled with the salience of "bad" outcomes. Stress-related alteration of reward and punishment learning systems - particularly in the mPFC - is a viable candidate for how dysfunctional stress reactive responses are translated into ongoing cognitive and affective distress in depression.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectDepressionen_US
dc.subjectEEGen_US
dc.subjectPredictionen_US
dc.subjectPunishmenten_US
dc.subjectRewarden_US
dc.subjectStressen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorAllen, John J.B.en_US
dc.contributor.chairAllen, John J.B.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFrank, Michael J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRyan, Leeen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberJacobs, W. Jakeen_US
dc.identifier.proquest11236en_US
dc.identifier.oclc752261079en_US
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