Ventromedial prefrontal activity correlates with depressed mood in adolescent children

William D.S. Killgore, Deborah A. Yurgelun-Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


In adults, the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus are preferentially activated during emotion-related processes, including normal sadness and pathological depression. It is not clear, however, whether similar regional activity is also characteristic of depressed mood during adolescence. We correlated whole brain activity during a fear face perception task with scores on the Beck Depression Inventory in 16 adolescents undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. After controlling for age, depressed mood scores correlated with increased activity within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and rostral anterior cingulate gyrus, consistent with findings previously reported for sadness and depression in adults, suggesting that the neural substrates of depressed mood are established early in life and remain relatively consistent across development into adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-171
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Adolescence
  • Anterior cingulate
  • Depression
  • Development
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Limbic system
  • Mood neuroimaging
  • Ventromedial prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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