Acute stress reduces reward
responsiveness: implications for depression

by
Bogdan R, Pizzagalli DA.
Department of Psychology,
Harvard University,
33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge,
MA 02138, USA.
Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Nov 15;60(10):1147-54.


ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Stress, one of the strongest risk factors for depression, has been linked to "anhedonic" behavior and dysfunctional reward-related neural circuitry in preclinical models. METHODS: To test if acute stress reduces reward responsiveness (i.e., the ability to modulate behavior as a function of past reward), a signal-detection task coupled with a differential reinforcement schedule was utilized. Eighty female participants completed the task under both a stress condition, either threat-of-shock (n = 38) or negative performance feedback (n = 42), and a no-stress condition. RESULTS: Stress increased negative affect and anxiety. As hypothesized based on preclinical findings, stress, particularly the threat-of-shock condition, impaired reward responsiveness. Regression analyses indicate that self-report measures of anhedonia predicted stress-induced hedonic deficits even after controlling for anxiety symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that acute stress reduces reward responsiveness, particularly in individuals with anhedonic symptoms. Stress-induced hedonic deficit is a promising candidate mechanism linking stressful experiences to depression.
Stress
Options
Dysthymia
Anhedonia
Amineptine
Melancholy
SSRIs v NARIs
Mood disorders
Antidepressants
Drugs and reward
Retarded depression
Stress and anhedonia
An individualised approach
Depression without sadness
Anhedonia and schizophrenia
Stress, depression and the rat
Novelty, reward and anhedonia
The reward system in depression
Neuobiological mechancisms of anhedonia
Depression and the mesolimbic dopamine system
Reduced hedonic capacity in major depressive disorder

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