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Publication Detail
Effects of age and MAOA genotype on the neural processing of social rejection.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Sebastian CL, Roiser JP, Tan GCY, Viding E, Wood NW, Blakemore S-J
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    628, 637
  • Journal:
    Genes Brain Behav
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Amygdala, Female, Genotype, Human Development, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Monoamine Oxidase, Neuropsychological Tests, Polymorphism, Genetic, Prefrontal Cortex, Rejection (Psychology)
Adolescents are often sensitive to peer rejection, a factor that might contribute to the risk of affective disorder in this age group. Previous studies suggest a significant overlap among socioaffective brain regions involved in the response to social rejection, regions continuing to develop functionally during adolescence and regions influenced by monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) polymorphism. The current study investigated whether the neural response to social rejection is functionally immature in adolescents compared with adults, and whether these responses are modulated by MAOA genotype. Blood-oxygen-level-dependent response was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging during a rejection-themed emotional Stroop task in 19 adolescents (aged 14-16) and 16 adults (aged 23-28) genotyped for MAOA polymorphism. Similar numbers of MAOA-L and MAOA-H carriers were recruited to maximize power to detect genotype effects. Main effects of rejection stimuli (relative to neutral and acceptance control stimuli) were seen in predicted socioaffective brain regions. Adolescents did not show the adult pattern of modulation by rejection stimuli in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, suggesting continued functional maturation of this regulatory region during adolescence. Age and genotype interacted in the left amygdala, in which the predicted effect of genotype on responses to rejection stimuli was seen in the adults, but not in the adolescents. The data suggest continued functional development of the circuitry underlying the processing of social rejection between adolescence and adulthood, and show that the effects of MAOA genotype on neural responses may vary with age.
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