Background: Increased impulsivity and aberrant response inhibition have been observed in bipolar disorder (BD). This study examined the functional abnormalities and underlying neural processes during response inhibition in BD, and its relationship to impulsivity.
Methods: We assessed impulsivity using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) and, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), measured neural activity in response to an Affective Go-NoGo Task, consisting of emotional facial stimuli (fear, happy, anger faces) and non-emotional control stimuli (neutral female and male faces) in euthymic BD (n=23) and healthy individuals (HI; n=25).
Results: BD patients were significantly more impulsive, yet did not differ from HI on accuracy or reaction time on the emotional go/no-go task. Comparing neural patterns of activation when processing emotional Go versus emotional NoGo trials yielded increased activation in BD within temporal and cingulate cortices and within prefrontal-cortical regions in HI. Furthermore, higher BIS scores for BD were associated with slower reaction times, and indicative of compensatory cognitive strategies to counter increased impulsivity.
Conclusions: These findings illustrate cognition-emotion interference in BD and the observed differences in neural activation indicate potentially altered emotion modulation. Increased activation in brain regions previously shown in emotion regulation and response inhibition tasks could represent a disease-specific marker for BD
Friday abstracts: 70th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry on Stress, Emotion, Neurodevelopment and Psychopathology, 14-16 May 2015, Toronto (CA).
- bipolar disorder
- response inhibition
- affect recognition
- functional magnetic resonance imaging