Table 1

Description of fMRI studies on facial emotion processing, comparing a group of major depressive disorder (MDD) patients to healthy controls (HCs)

Author/year

Reference

Participants

Patient mean age (SD)

Patient (a) mean duration of illness in months; (b) mean episodes

Medication

Emotions

Paradigm and stimulus type

Stimulus duration

Analysis approach


Whole brain and/or ROI data:


Almeida et al. 2010

[62]

15 MDD, 15 HC, (15 BDD), (15 BDDr)

32.74 (9.87)

(a) 13.67 ± 9.87;

(b) not reported

Yes

Fear, sad, happy

Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Explicit task: label emotion.

2 s

ROI


Frodl et al. 2009

[43]

12 MDD, 12 HC

43.3 (11.2)

Not reported

Yes

Sad, angry

Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Implicit task: match gender. Control task: match shapes.

5.3 s

Whole brain, ROIs


Frodl et al.

2011

[27]

24 MDD, 15 HC

38.9 (10.4)

(a) 56.0 ± 63.4; (b) 1.6 ± 0.7

No

Sad, angry

Emotion face-matching task. Faces from Gur and colleagues. Explicit task: match the emotion. Implicit task: match the gender. Control task: match shapes.

5.3 s

Whole brain


Fu et al. 2004; Fu et al. 2007

[32,63]

19 MDD, 19 HC

43.2 (8.8)

Not reported

No

Sad, happy

Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed to express low, medium and high intensities. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face.

3 s

Whole brain


Fu et al. 2008

[33]

16 MDD, 16 HC

40.0 (9.4)

(a) not reported; (b) 0.63

No

Sad

Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed to express low, medium and high intensities. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face.

3 s

Whole brain


Gotlib et al. 2005

[45]

18 MDD, 18 HC

35.2

Not reported

Yes

Sad, happy, neutral

Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face.

3 s

Whole brain


Keedwell et al. 2005

[42]

12 MDD, 12 HC

43 (9.8)

Not reported

Yes

Sad, happy, neutral

Mood provocation paradigm. Individual autobiographical memory prompts played prior to the presentation of mood congruent facial expressions. Ekman faces. Task: oral subjective rating of mood.

2 s

Whole brain


Lawrence et al. 2004

[37]

9 MDD, 11 HC, (12 BDD)

41a (11)

(a) 96 ± 60;

(b) not reported

Yes

Sad, fear, happy, neutral

Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face.

2 s

Whole brain, ROIs


Lee et al. 2008

[38]

21 MDD, 15 HC

46.8 (9.1)

(a) 14.8 ± 3.3; (b) 1.9 ± 0.8

Yes

Sad, angry, neutral

Face viewing paradigm. Data set of Korean faces. Task: evaluative ratings (arousal, valence).

1.5 s

ROIs


Matthews et al. 2008

[28]

15 MDD, 16 HC

24.5 (5.5)

(a) not reported; (b) 4.46

No

Angry, fear, happy

Emotion face-matching task. Emotional faces. Task: match faces.

5 s

ROI


Peluso et al. 2009

[35]

14 MDD, 15 HC

37.9 (14)

Not reported

No

Angry, fear

Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Implicit task: match faces. Control task: match shapes.

5 s

Whole brain, ROI


Scheuerecker et al. 2010

[41]

13 MDD, 15 HC

37.9 (10.1)

(a) 52.3 ± 71.5; (b) 1.45 ± 0.68

No

Sad, angry

Emotion face-matching task. Faces from Gur and colleagues. Explicit task: match the emotion. Implicit task: match the gender. Control task: match shapes.

Whole brain


Sheline et al. 2001

[34]

11 MDD, 11 HC

40.3

Not reported

No

Fear, happy, neutral

Subliminal emotion paradigm. Masked Ekman faces. Task: indicate the sex of the face.

Prime: 40 ms; mask: 160 ms

ROI


Surguladze et al. 2010

[39]

9 MDD, 9 HC

42.8 (7.2)

(a) 96 ± 61.2; (b) not reported

Yes

Disgust, fear, neutral

Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face + offline facial affect recognition task.

2 s

Whole brain


Surguladze et al. 2005

[31]

16 MDD, 14 HC

42.3 (8.4)

(a) 90 ± 61.2; (b) not reported

Unknown

Sad, happy, neutral

Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face.

2 s

Whole brain, ROIs


Suslow et al. 2010

[30]

30 MDD, 26 HC

38.8 (11.4)

(a) 72.2 ± 75.0; (b) 2.7 ± 2.0

Yes

Sad, happy, neutral

Subliminal emotion paradigm. Masked Ekman faces. Task: evaluative ratings of the neutral mask face (valence) + offline detection task.

Prime: 33 ms; mask: 467 ms

Whole brain, ROI


Townsend et al. 2010

[40]

15 MDD, 15 HC

46.6 (11.2)

(a) 176.4 ± 159.6;

(b) 3 (median)

No

Sad, fearful

Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Control task: match shapes.

Whole brain, ROIs


Victor et al. 2010

[29]

22 MDD (16 MDDr), 25 HC

33.2 (5.0)

Not reported

No

Sad, happy, neutral

Subliminal emotion paradigm. NimStim set of facial expressions. Task: remember the neutral target face and respond to indicate whether this target face appears during the current trial.

Prime: 26 ms; mask: 107 ms

Whole brain, ROI


Zhong et al. 2011

[36]

29 MDD, 31 HC, (26 CV subjects)

20.45 (1.82)

Not reported

No

Fearful, angry

Emotion face-matching task. Standardized set of Chinese facial expressions. Implicit task: match faces. Control task: match shapes.

5 s

ROI, Whole brain


Functional connectivity studies:


Almeida et al. 2009

[47]

16 MDD, 16 HC, (15 BDD)

32.3 (9.7)

(a) 13.4 ± 9.6; (b) not reported

Yes

Sad, happy, neutral

Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Explicit task: label emotion.

2 s

Dynamic causal modeling


Carballedo et al. 2011

[48]

15 MDD, 15 HC

39.87 (8.57)

Not reported

No

Sad, angry

Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Control task: match shapes.

5.25 s

Structural equation modeling


Chen et al. 2008

[49]

19 MDD, 19 HC

34.3

(8.6)

Not reported

No

Sad

Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed to express low, medium and high intensities. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face.

3 s

Functional connectivity


Dannlowski et al. 2009

[50]

34 MDD, 31 HC

38.6 (12.2)

(a) 125.0 ± 125.5; (b) 4.7 ± 5.3

Yes

Sad, angry, happy, neutral

Passive face viewing paradigm. Ekman faces.

500 ms

Functional connectivity


Frodl et al. 2010

[51]

25 MDD, 15 HC

39.4 (10.4)

(a) 51.8 ± 63.9; (b) 1.52 ± 0.6

No

Sad, angry

Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Implicit task: match gender. Control task: match shapes.

Functional connectivity


Mathews et al. 2008

[28]

15 MDD, 16 HC

24.5 (5.5)

(a) not reported; (b) 4.46

No

Angry, fear, happy

Emotion face-matching task. Emotional faces. Task: match faces.

5 s

Functional connectivity


BDD, bipolar disorder; BDDr, bipolar disorder remitted; CV, cognitive vulnerability; MDDr, major depressive disorder remitted; ROI, region of interest

Stuhrmann et al. Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2011 1:10   doi:10.1186/2045-5380-1-10

Open Data