Functional Neuroimaging of Depression, by Erk, Walter and Spitzer

02/01/2002View on timeline


In 2002, a shorter overview of depression neuroimaging noted the lack of a “general theory” to integrate the findings about functional abnormalities in the amygdala and hippocampus and reached circular conclusions of confounding generality: Since the medial prefrontal cortex is connected to areas where neuroimaging uncovers structural and functional abnormalities, dysfunction in this region may be fundamental to depression... These results thus support a neural model of depression in which dysfunction in regions that modulate emotional behavior may result in the emotional, motivational, cognitive and behavioral manifestations of depressive disorders. (Erk, Walter, and Spitzer 2002, 67)


The ambiguous, evocatively rather than assertively causal language is the same as in [Wayne] Drevets, but Erk and colleagues add an element of self-evidence, since dysfunction in regions that modulate emotion necessarily affect emotion. Insofar as the nosography of depression includes emotional signs, depression necessarily involves brain areas implicated in emotion.

Vidal, Fernando and Ortega, Francisco. Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject (Forms of Living)....

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Erk, Susanne, Henrik Walter, and Manfred Spitzer. 2002. “Functional Neuroimaging of Depression.” Adv...

Susanne Erk, M.D., Deputy Director of the Research Division of Mind and Brain at Charité – Universit...

Dr. Susanne Erk, M.D. at Charité

Prof. Dr. Henrik Walter, Director of the Department of Neurology with Experimental Neurology at Char...

Prof. Dr. Henrik Walter at Charité

Professor Dr. Dr Manfred Spitzer is a German psychiatrist, psychologist and neuroscientist. He is (s...

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Dr. Manfred Spitzer at Humanities in Medicine

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Published in 5/02/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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