Depression is the leading cause of physiological problems and suicide. Previous studies have indicated that individuals with depression show abnormal processing of both positive and negative emotional stimuli. However, the common and distinct patterns of brain activity during the processing of positive and negative emotional stimuli in individuals with depression remain controversial. The current meta-analysis study used the activation likelihood estimation method to investigate these issues across 21 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. Results revealed that, compared with individuals without depression, individuals with depression showed higher activation in the anterior cingulate gyrus, insula, and middle frontal gyrus (MFG) for positive emotional stimuli and higher activation in the MFG, inferior frontal gyrus, and insula for negative emotional stimuli. Moreover, we identified that the MFG was consistently activated in individuals with depression regardless of the type of emotional stimuli. However, we did not find distinct patterns of brain activity between positive and negative emotional stimuli in individuals with depression. Our results demonstrated that both positive and negative emotional stimuli processing shares the same cognitive control-related brain regions in individuals with depression.
Keywords: Activation likelihood estimation; Anterior cingulate cortex; Depression; Emotion; Middle frontal gyrus.
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