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Decision making in young people at familial risk of depression.

Mannie ZN, Williams C, Browning M, Cowen PJ - Psychol Med (2014)

Bottom Line: Major depression is associated with abnormalities in reward processing at neural and behavioural levels.Compared to controls, the FH+ participants showed overall lower risk taking, although like controls they made more risky choices as the odds of a favourable outcome increased.No other measures of decision making differed between the two groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University Department of Psychiatry,Warneford Hospital,Oxford,UK.

ABSTRACT

Background: Major depression is associated with abnormalities in reward processing at neural and behavioural levels. Neural abnormalities in reward have been described in young people at familial risk of depression but behavioural changes in reward-based decision making have been less studied in this group.

Method: We studied 63 young people (mean age 18.9 years) with a parent with a diagnosis of major depression but who had never been depressed themselves, that is with a positive family history of depression (the FH+ group). Participants performed the Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT), which provides several measures of decision making including deliberation time, quality of decision making, risk taking, risk adjustment and delay aversion. A control group of 49 age- and gender-matched young people with no history of mood disorder in a first-degree relative undertook the same task.

Results: Both FH+ participants and controls had low and equivalent scores on anxiety and depression self-rating scales. Compared to controls, the FH+ participants showed overall lower risk taking, although like controls they made more risky choices as the odds of a favourable outcome increased. No other measures of decision making differed between the two groups.

Conclusions: Young people at increased familial risk of depression have altered risk taking that is not accounted for by current affective symptomatology. Lowered risk taking might represent an impairment in reward seeking, which is one of several changes in reward-based behaviours seen in acutely depressed patients; however, our findings suggest that decreased reward seeking could be part of a risk endophenotype for depression.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Risk taking shown as mean (standard error of the mean) percentage of total points bet when a more likely outcome is selected, at differing ratios (likelihood) of selections being correct. The group with a positive family history of depression (FH+) bet significantly less, as shown by the main effect of group on ANOVA (F1,110 = 6.42, p = 0.013).
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fig01: Risk taking shown as mean (standard error of the mean) percentage of total points bet when a more likely outcome is selected, at differing ratios (likelihood) of selections being correct. The group with a positive family history of depression (FH+) bet significantly less, as shown by the main effect of group on ANOVA (F1,110 = 6.42, p = 0.013).

Mentions: Analysis of the proportion of points bet as a function of participant group and the odds of winning revealed main effects of both group (F1,110 = 6.42, p = 0.013) and odds ratio (F3,110 = 562.7, p = 0.000). There was no interaction between group and odds ratio. As can be seen from Fig. 1, these results arise because participants in the FH+ group wagered fewer points than the control group across all of the different bets. In other words, although FH+ participants were generally less risk seeking than the control group, they used information about the probable outcome of each decision to modulate their bet in the same way as the control group.Fig. 1.


Decision making in young people at familial risk of depression.

Mannie ZN, Williams C, Browning M, Cowen PJ - Psychol Med (2014)

Risk taking shown as mean (standard error of the mean) percentage of total points bet when a more likely outcome is selected, at differing ratios (likelihood) of selections being correct. The group with a positive family history of depression (FH+) bet significantly less, as shown by the main effect of group on ANOVA (F1,110 = 6.42, p = 0.013).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4301211&req=5

fig01: Risk taking shown as mean (standard error of the mean) percentage of total points bet when a more likely outcome is selected, at differing ratios (likelihood) of selections being correct. The group with a positive family history of depression (FH+) bet significantly less, as shown by the main effect of group on ANOVA (F1,110 = 6.42, p = 0.013).
Mentions: Analysis of the proportion of points bet as a function of participant group and the odds of winning revealed main effects of both group (F1,110 = 6.42, p = 0.013) and odds ratio (F3,110 = 562.7, p = 0.000). There was no interaction between group and odds ratio. As can be seen from Fig. 1, these results arise because participants in the FH+ group wagered fewer points than the control group across all of the different bets. In other words, although FH+ participants were generally less risk seeking than the control group, they used information about the probable outcome of each decision to modulate their bet in the same way as the control group.Fig. 1.

Bottom Line: Major depression is associated with abnormalities in reward processing at neural and behavioural levels.Compared to controls, the FH+ participants showed overall lower risk taking, although like controls they made more risky choices as the odds of a favourable outcome increased.No other measures of decision making differed between the two groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University Department of Psychiatry,Warneford Hospital,Oxford,UK.

ABSTRACT

Background: Major depression is associated with abnormalities in reward processing at neural and behavioural levels. Neural abnormalities in reward have been described in young people at familial risk of depression but behavioural changes in reward-based decision making have been less studied in this group.

Method: We studied 63 young people (mean age 18.9 years) with a parent with a diagnosis of major depression but who had never been depressed themselves, that is with a positive family history of depression (the FH+ group). Participants performed the Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT), which provides several measures of decision making including deliberation time, quality of decision making, risk taking, risk adjustment and delay aversion. A control group of 49 age- and gender-matched young people with no history of mood disorder in a first-degree relative undertook the same task.

Results: Both FH+ participants and controls had low and equivalent scores on anxiety and depression self-rating scales. Compared to controls, the FH+ participants showed overall lower risk taking, although like controls they made more risky choices as the odds of a favourable outcome increased. No other measures of decision making differed between the two groups.

Conclusions: Young people at increased familial risk of depression have altered risk taking that is not accounted for by current affective symptomatology. Lowered risk taking might represent an impairment in reward seeking, which is one of several changes in reward-based behaviours seen in acutely depressed patients; however, our findings suggest that decreased reward seeking could be part of a risk endophenotype for depression.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus