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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

While every major model of depression has proposed that positive affect is disrupted in the disorder, it is only recently that scientists have devoted their attention to disruption of the neural aspects of positive affect in depression. This attention is burgeoning, and accumulating evidence, including meta-analytic findings, supports reduced function in the ventral striatum, a basic and critical reward-related brain region. The disruption of positive affect and reward neural systems is particularly germane to adolescence, when reward systems undergo dramatic changes and depression onset is most likely to occur. This chapter provides a developmental psychopathology and affective neuroscience perspective on the disruption of positive emotions in depression by focusing on adolescent brain development, reward function, and depression. This work is extended to social context and development of the self, both of which are impacted by depression and both of which develop prominently in adolescence. These aspects of behavior share common neural substrates with depression, and disruption to their development by the experience of depression could compromise effective functioning during adulthood.

Keywords: depression, anhedonia, affect, positive affect, regional response, functional connectivity, social processing, self-relevant processing

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