Raquel Phillips1, Kymberly Young1, Vadim Zotev1, Masaya Misaki1, Han Yuan1, Wayne C. Drevets1, Jerzy Bodurka1, 2
1Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, OK, United States; 2College of Engineering, The University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, OK, United States
We aim to develop novel and non-invasive treatments for major depressive disorder (MDD), a disorder associated with the deregulation of brain emotional circuitry. Research has shown that the hemodynamic response of the amygdala is attenuated to positive stimuli in MDD and that this response normalizes with remission. We show that individuals with MDD are able to use real-time fMRI neurofeedback to enhance the hemodynamic response of the left amygdala (LA) to positive stimuli. We also found an association between the ability to regulate the LA and reductions in depression ratings, as well as improvements in happiness ratings.