Corticostriatal pathways contribute to the natural time course of positive mood

Roee Admon, Diego A. Pizzagalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The natural time course of mood includes both acute responses to stimuli and spontaneous fluctuations. To date, neuroimaging studies have focused on either acute affective responses or spontaneous neural fluctuations at rest but no prior study has concurrently probed both components, or how mood disorders might modulate these processes. Here, using fMRI, we capture the acute affective and neural responses to naturalistic positive mood induction, as well as their spontaneous fluctuations during resting states. In both healthy controls and individuals with a history of depression, our manipulation acutely elevates positive mood and ventral striatum activation. Only controls, however, sustain positive mood over time, and this effect is accompanied by the emergence of a reciprocal relationship between the ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex during ensuing rest. Findings suggest that corticostriatal pathways contribute to the natural time course of positive mood fluctuations, while disturbances of those neural interactions may characterize mood disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10065
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 7 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by The Adam Corneel Young Investigator Award (McLean Hospital; awarded to R.A.), The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Young Investigator Award (awarded to R.A.), The William Rosenberg Family Foundation (Carol Silverstein and Jill Gotlieb) (awarded to DAP), Carroll C. D. and Robert W. Pierce, Jr (awarded to D.A.P.), and NIMH grants R01 MH068376 and R01 MH101521 (awarded to D.A.P). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Health. We thank Mr Robert T. Mankoff, chief editor, the New Yorker Caption Contest, for providing all the captions and cartoons that were used in the task, as well as for his fruitful thoughts throughout the construction of the task. In addition, we thank Dr Adeel Razi from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, for aiding with the DCM analyses and Dr Daniel D. Dillon for providing comments on previous versions of this paper. Finally, many thanks to the following members of the Center for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Research at McLean Hospital for assisting in various aspects of the study: Dr Randy P. Auerbach, Dr Poornima Kumar, Dr Christian A. Webb, Dr Ashlee Van’t Veer, Dr Alexis E. Whitton, Ms. Nancy Hall Brooks, Ms Pragya Kakani, and Ms Manon L. Ironside.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Corticostriatal pathways contribute to the natural time course of positive mood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this