Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Depression uncouples brain's 'hate circuit', MRI study finds

Date:
October 5, 2011
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
A new study using MRI scans has found that depression frequently seems to uncouple the brain's 'hate circuit'.

Professor Jianfeng Feng.
Credit: University of Warwick

A new study using MRI scans, led by Professor Jianfeng Feng, from the University of Warwick's Department of Computer Science, has found that depression frequently seems to uncouple the brain's 'hate circuit.'

The study is published Oct. 4 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

The researchers used MRI scanners to scan the brain activity in 39 depressed people (23 female 16 male) and 37 control subjects who were not depressed (14 female 23 male). The researchers found the fMRI scans revealed significant differences in the brain circuitry of the two groups. The greatest difference observed in the depressed patients was the uncoupling of the so-called "hate circuit" involving the superior frontal gyrus, insula and putamen. Other major changes occurred in circuits related to risk and action responses, reward and emotion, attention and memory processing.

The hate circuit was first clearly identified in 2008 by UCL Professor Semir Zeki who found that a circuit which seemed to connect three regions in the brain (the superior frontal gyrus, insula and putamen) when test subjects were shown pictures of people they hated.

The new University of Warwick led research found that in significant numbers of the depressed test subjects they examined by fMRI that this hate circuit had become decoupled. Those depressed people also seemed to have experienced other significant disruptions to brain circuits associated with; risk and action, reward and emotion, and attention and memory processing. The researchers found that in the depressed subjects:

  • The Hate circuits were 92% per cent likely to be decoupled
  • The Risk/Action circuit was 92% likely to be decoupled
  • The Emotion/Reward circuit was 82% likely to be decoupled

Professor Jianfeng Feng, from the University of Warwick's Department of Computer studies said that:

"The results are clear but at first sight are puzzling as we know that depression is often characterized by intense self loathing and there is no obvious indication that depressives are less prone to hate others. One possibility is that the uncoupling of this hate circuit could be associated with impaired ability to control and learn from social or other situations which provoke feelings of hate towards self or others. This in turn could lead to an inability to deal appropriately with feelings of hate and an increased likelihood of both uncontrolled self-loathing and withdrawal from social interactions. It may be that this is a neurological indication that is more normal to have occasion to hate others rather than hate ourselves."

The full list of the paper's authors is as follows: Professor Jianfeng Feng, Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick and also the Centre for Computational Systems Biology, School of Mathematical Sciences, Fudan University,; Zhimin Xue, Zhening Liu, and Haojuan Tao, all from the Institute of Mental Health, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, China; Shuixia Guo, Mathematics and Computer Science College, Hunan Normal University, China; Tian Ge, Centre for Computational Systems Biology, School of Mathematical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China; Keith M. Kendrick Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Group, The Babraham Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H Tao, S Guo, T Ge, K M Kendrick, Z Xue, Z Liu, J Feng. Depression uncouples brain hate circuit. Molecular Psychiatry, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2011.127

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Depression uncouples brain's 'hate circuit', MRI study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004113751.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2011, October 5). Depression uncouples brain's 'hate circuit', MRI study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004113751.htm
University of Warwick. "Depression uncouples brain's 'hate circuit', MRI study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004113751.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Plans To Speed Up Web Pages With New Image Format

Google Plans To Speed Up Web Pages With New Image Format

Newsy (July 21, 2014) Google is using compressed images in WebP format to help boost page loading times. The files are 25-to-34 percent smaller than PNGs and JPEGs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguayan Creates Chess Game for Multiple Opponents

Uruguayan Creates Chess Game for Multiple Opponents

AFP (July 19, 2014) It no longer takes two to play chess – or at least according to a new version of the game invented by Uruguayan Gabriel Baldi, where up to four opponents can play. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Reuters - US Online Video (July 18, 2014) The FCC received more than 800,000 comments on whether and how internet speeds should be regulated, even crashing its system. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Won't Call Games With In-App Add-Ons Free, Apple Will

Google Won't Call Games With In-App Add-Ons Free, Apple Will

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The European Commission asked Google and Apple not to label apps "free" if they include in-app purchases. Google has complied; Apple has resisted. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins