Patterns of cortico-limbic activations during visual processing of sad faces in depression patients: a coordinate-based meta-analysis

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2014 Winter;26(1):34-43. doi: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.12060143.


The author retrieved 10 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies about visual tasks for emotional faces in subjects with depression. The activation foci were then summarized and entered into a coordinate-based meta-analysis. The depression group showed significantly increased activations in the left striatum and left parahippocampal gyrus; the control group showed increased activations in the left medial frontal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, right thalamus, left anterior cingulate, and superior frontal gyrus. The study suggests that depression patients have limbic activations, and controls have fronto-thalamic activations with visual processing of emotional faces.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Depression / pathology*
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Face*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Limbic System / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation