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Effects of behavioural activation on the neural circuit related to intrinsic motivation

  • Asako Mori (a1), Yasumasa Okamoto (a2), Go Okada (a3), Koki Takagaki (a4), Masahiro Takamura (a5), Ran Jinnin (a5), Naho Ichikawa (a5), Takanao Yamamura (a6), Satoshi Yokoyama (a7), Syouichi Shiota (a8), Atsuo Yoshino (a5), Yoshie Miyake (a9), Yuri Okamoto (a10), Madoka Matsumoto (a11), Kenji Matsumoto (a12) and Shigeto Yamawaki (a13)...
Abstract
Background

Behavioural activation is an efficient treatment for depression and can improve intrinsic motivation. Previous studies have revealed that the frontostriatal circuit is involved in intrinsic motivation; however, there are no data on how behavioural activation affects the frontostriatal circuit.

Aims

We aimed to investigate behavioural activation-related changes in the frontostriatal circuit.

Method

Fifty-nine individuals with subthreshold depression were randomly assigned to either the intervention or non-intervention group. The intervention group received five weekly behavioural activation sessions. The participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning on two separate occasions while performing a stopwatch task based on intrinsic motivation. We investigated changes in neural activity and functional connectivity after behavioural activation.

Results

After behavioural activation, the intervention group had increased activation and connectivity in the frontostriatal region compared with the non-intervention group. The increased activation in the right middle frontal gyrus was correlated with an improvement of subjective sensitivity to environmental rewards.

Conclusions

Behavioural activation-related changes to the frontostriatal circuit advance our understanding of psychotherapy-induced improvements in the neural basis of intrinsic motivation.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Yasumasa Okamoto, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734-8551, Japan. Email: oy@hiroshima-u.ac.jp
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Effects of behavioural activation on the neural circuit related to intrinsic motivation

  • Asako Mori (a1), Yasumasa Okamoto (a2), Go Okada (a3), Koki Takagaki (a4), Masahiro Takamura (a5), Ran Jinnin (a5), Naho Ichikawa (a5), Takanao Yamamura (a6), Satoshi Yokoyama (a7), Syouichi Shiota (a8), Atsuo Yoshino (a5), Yoshie Miyake (a9), Yuri Okamoto (a10), Madoka Matsumoto (a11), Kenji Matsumoto (a12) and Shigeto Yamawaki (a13)...
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