Full Program »
75. The association between frontal EEG asymmetry during reward anticipation and specific depressive symptoms in families
Abnormal frontal EEG asymmetry, a physiological measure of approach motivation (Allen et al., 2004), has been associated with personal and family history of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). However, MDD is a heterogeneous disorder with questionable validity. Nelson et al. (2017) showed that abnormal frontal asymmetry while anticipating reward was specifically associated with symptoms of dysphoria and lassitude, but it is unclear whether the association between frontal asymmetry and family history of depression is specific to certain depressive symptoms. Therefore, the present study will test whether an individual’s frontal asymmetry while anticipating reward relates to specific depressive symptoms in their siblings, with the hypothesis that this association will be specific to lassitude and dysphoria. Participants were 18 to 30 years old (M = 22.39, SD = 3.17) and included 237 sibling pairs (total N = 474). Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms, a self-report measure of internalizing symptoms. Frontal asymmetry was measured during a computerized slot machine task designed to elicit reward anticipation. This study will clarify the relationship between frontal asymmetry during reward anticipation, familial risk for depressive symptoms, and whether mechanisms underlying risk for depression are specific to certain symptoms.