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Augmentation of serotonin enhances pleasant and suppresses unpleasant cortical electrophysiological responses to visual emotional stimuli in humans.
Neuroimage. 2004 Jul; 22(3):1084-96.N

Abstract

The serotonergic system is one of the major systems targeted in the pharmacological treatment of a wide range of mood disorders including depression; however, little is known about the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the effects of serotonin (5-HT) on affective phenomena including emotional behaviours, mood and emotional processing. The aim of the current study was to investigate how 5-HT acutely modulates steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP), heart rate (HR) and verbal ratings associated with the viewing of differently valent emotional images. In a randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 17 healthy subjects were tested under two acute treatment conditions: placebo and citalopram (20 mg) (a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, or SSRI). Participants were tested 2 h post treatment whilst viewing 75 images (categorised as pleasant, neutral or unpleasant). Results indicate that under placebo treatment, processing of unpleasant valence [unpleasant (-) neutral images] was associated with decreases in SSVEP amplitude and latency in frontal and occipital cortices, whereas processing of pleasant valence [pleasant (-) neutral images] was associated with amplitude decreases and latency increases within frontal and left temporoparietal cortices. Decreases in both amplitude and latency are both interpreted as surrogate measures of cortical activation or excitation. Citalopram relative to placebo attenuated the electrophysiological activation to unpleasant valence within frontal and occipital cortices, but potentiated electrophysiological activation (amplitude only) to pleasant valence within parietooccipital cortices. Citalopram relative to placebo also suppressed differences in heart rate associated with the viewing of pleasant and unpleasant images, but did not alter subject's subjective responses to emotional images. Results suggest that responsiveness to pleasant and unpleasant stimuli following neurochemical modulation may vary across different response systems (i.e. self-report, HR and SSVEP). Electrophysiological findings suggest that acute serotonergic augmentation with citalopram modulates cortical processing of emotionally valent stimuli such that response to pleasant valence is potentiated and response to unpleasant valence is suppressed. The findings suggest a possible neurophysiological mechanism underlying antidepressant drug action on emotion.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory, Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Clinical Trial
Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15219580

Citation

Kemp, Andrew H., et al. "Augmentation of Serotonin Enhances Pleasant and Suppresses Unpleasant Cortical Electrophysiological Responses to Visual Emotional Stimuli in Humans." NeuroImage, vol. 22, no. 3, 2004, pp. 1084-96.
Kemp AH, Gray MA, Silberstein RB, et al. Augmentation of serotonin enhances pleasant and suppresses unpleasant cortical electrophysiological responses to visual emotional stimuli in humans. Neuroimage. 2004;22(3):1084-96.
Kemp, A. H., Gray, M. A., Silberstein, R. B., Armstrong, S. M., & Nathan, P. J. (2004). Augmentation of serotonin enhances pleasant and suppresses unpleasant cortical electrophysiological responses to visual emotional stimuli in humans. NeuroImage, 22(3), 1084-96.
Kemp AH, et al. Augmentation of Serotonin Enhances Pleasant and Suppresses Unpleasant Cortical Electrophysiological Responses to Visual Emotional Stimuli in Humans. Neuroimage. 2004;22(3):1084-96. PubMed PMID: 15219580.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Augmentation of serotonin enhances pleasant and suppresses unpleasant cortical electrophysiological responses to visual emotional stimuli in humans. AU - Kemp,Andrew H, AU - Gray,Marcus A, AU - Silberstein,Richard B, AU - Armstrong,Stuart M, AU - Nathan,Pradeep J, PY - 2003/10/08/received PY - 2004/03/11/revised PY - 2004/03/11/accepted PY - 2004/6/29/pubmed PY - 2004/9/17/medline PY - 2004/6/29/entrez SP - 1084 EP - 96 JF - NeuroImage JO - Neuroimage VL - 22 IS - 3 N2 - The serotonergic system is one of the major systems targeted in the pharmacological treatment of a wide range of mood disorders including depression; however, little is known about the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the effects of serotonin (5-HT) on affective phenomena including emotional behaviours, mood and emotional processing. The aim of the current study was to investigate how 5-HT acutely modulates steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP), heart rate (HR) and verbal ratings associated with the viewing of differently valent emotional images. In a randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 17 healthy subjects were tested under two acute treatment conditions: placebo and citalopram (20 mg) (a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, or SSRI). Participants were tested 2 h post treatment whilst viewing 75 images (categorised as pleasant, neutral or unpleasant). Results indicate that under placebo treatment, processing of unpleasant valence [unpleasant (-) neutral images] was associated with decreases in SSVEP amplitude and latency in frontal and occipital cortices, whereas processing of pleasant valence [pleasant (-) neutral images] was associated with amplitude decreases and latency increases within frontal and left temporoparietal cortices. Decreases in both amplitude and latency are both interpreted as surrogate measures of cortical activation or excitation. Citalopram relative to placebo attenuated the electrophysiological activation to unpleasant valence within frontal and occipital cortices, but potentiated electrophysiological activation (amplitude only) to pleasant valence within parietooccipital cortices. Citalopram relative to placebo also suppressed differences in heart rate associated with the viewing of pleasant and unpleasant images, but did not alter subject's subjective responses to emotional images. Results suggest that responsiveness to pleasant and unpleasant stimuli following neurochemical modulation may vary across different response systems (i.e. self-report, HR and SSVEP). Electrophysiological findings suggest that acute serotonergic augmentation with citalopram modulates cortical processing of emotionally valent stimuli such that response to pleasant valence is potentiated and response to unpleasant valence is suppressed. The findings suggest a possible neurophysiological mechanism underlying antidepressant drug action on emotion. SN - 1053-8119 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15219580/Augmentation_of_serotonin_enhances_pleasant_and_suppresses_unpleasant_cortical_electrophysiological_responses_to_visual_emotional_stimuli_in_humans_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1053811904001600 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -