IMR Press / JIN / Volume 21 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin2104113
Open Access Original Research
Functional MRI Correlates of Stroop N-Back Test Underpin the Diagnosis of Major Depression
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1 Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology and Research Institute, Medical University Plovdiv, 4002 Tsentar, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
*Correspondence: (Drozdstoy Stoyanov)
Academic Editor: Yoshihiro Noda
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2022, 21(4), 113;
Submitted: 31 March 2022 | Revised: 30 May 2022 | Accepted: 31 May 2022 | Published: 9 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Depression Research)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Introduction: In the current study, we used the Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT) combined with an n-back component in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in order to activate the working memory and cognitive interference in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) as compared to healthy controls. Our hypothesis was that there would be significant alterations in the selective visual attention processing regions of the brain which may identify mechanisms underlying major depression. Materials and Methods: Fifty participants, of which 24 were patients with depression and 26 healthy controls were recruited. Results: The first major finding of the current study was hypoactivation in the lingual gyrus during the condition with instructions to track the sequence of the words (word>color) of the Stroop n-back task and hyperactivation of the same structure in the opposite (color>word) condition where subjects had to focus on the order of the word color in depressed patients as compared to healthy controls. Conclusions: Changes in these regions have been consistently reported across studies with different fMRI techniques in both adolescent and adult patients with MDD reinforcing the role of the region in the pathophysiology of depression. Further studies are needed to examine possible longitudinal changes in the region and its activity in remission.

functional magnetic resonance imaging
Stroop test
major depressive disorder
Fig. 1.
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