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Table 1 Description of fMRI studies on facial emotion processing, comparing a group of major depressive disorder (MDD) patients to healthy controls (HCs)

From: Facial emotion processing in major depression: a systematic review of neuroimaging findings

Author/year Reference Participants Patient mean age (SD) Patient (a) mean duration of illness in months; (b) mean episodes Medication Emotions Paradigm and stimulus type Stimulus duration Analysis approach
Whole brain and/or ROI data:
Almeida et al. 2010 [62] 15 MDD, 15 HC, (15 BDD), (15 BDDr) 32.74 (9.87) (a) 13.67 ± 9.87;
(b) not reported
Yes Fear, sad, happy Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Explicit task: label emotion. 2 s ROI
Frodl et al. 2009 [43] 12 MDD, 12 HC 43.3 (11.2) Not reported Yes Sad, angry Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Implicit task: match gender. Control task: match shapes. 5.3 s Whole brain, ROIs
Frodl et al.
2011
[27] 24 MDD, 15 HC 38.9 (10.4) (a) 56.0 ± 63.4; (b) 1.6 ± 0.7 No Sad, angry Emotion face-matching task. Faces from Gur and colleagues. Explicit task: match the emotion. Implicit task: match the gender. Control task: match shapes. 5.3 s Whole brain
Fu et al. 2004; Fu et al. 2007 [32, 63] 19 MDD, 19 HC 43.2 (8.8) Not reported No Sad, happy Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed to express low, medium and high intensities. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face. 3 s Whole brain
Fu et al. 2008 [33] 16 MDD, 16 HC 40.0 (9.4) (a) not reported; (b) 0.63 No Sad Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed to express low, medium and high intensities. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face. 3 s Whole brain
Gotlib et al. 2005 [45] 18 MDD, 18 HC 35.2 Not reported Yes Sad, happy, neutral Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face. 3 s Whole brain
Keedwell et al. 2005 [42] 12 MDD, 12 HC 43 (9.8) Not reported Yes Sad, happy, neutral Mood provocation paradigm. Individual autobiographical memory prompts played prior to the presentation of mood congruent facial expressions. Ekman faces. Task: oral subjective rating of mood. 2 s Whole brain
Lawrence et al. 2004 [37] 9 MDD, 11 HC, (12 BDD) 41a (11) (a) 96 ± 60;
(b) not reported
Yes Sad, fear, happy, neutral Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face. 2 s Whole brain, ROIs
Lee et al. 2008 [38] 21 MDD, 15 HC 46.8 (9.1) (a) 14.8 ± 3.3; (b) 1.9 ± 0.8 Yes Sad, angry, neutral Face viewing paradigm. Data set of Korean faces. Task: evaluative ratings (arousal, valence). 1.5 s ROIs
Matthews et al. 2008 [28] 15 MDD, 16 HC 24.5 (5.5) (a) not reported; (b) 4.46 No Angry, fear, happy Emotion face-matching task. Emotional faces. Task: match faces. 5 s ROI
Peluso et al. 2009 [35] 14 MDD, 15 HC 37.9 (14) Not reported No Angry, fear Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Implicit task: match faces. Control task: match shapes. 5 s Whole brain, ROI
Scheuerecker et al. 2010 [41] 13 MDD, 15 HC 37.9 (10.1) (a) 52.3 ± 71.5; (b) 1.45 ± 0.68 No Sad, angry Emotion face-matching task. Faces from Gur and colleagues. Explicit task: match the emotion. Implicit task: match the gender. Control task: match shapes.   Whole brain
Sheline et al. 2001 [34] 11 MDD, 11 HC 40.3 Not reported No Fear, happy, neutral Subliminal emotion paradigm. Masked Ekman faces. Task: indicate the sex of the face. Prime: 40 ms; mask: 160 ms ROI
Surguladze et al. 2010 [39] 9 MDD, 9 HC 42.8 (7.2) (a) 96 ± 61.2; (b) not reported Yes Disgust, fear, neutral Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face + offline facial affect recognition task. 2 s Whole brain
Surguladze et al. 2005 [31] 16 MDD, 14 HC 42.3 (8.4) (a) 90 ± 61.2; (b) not reported Unknown Sad, happy, neutral Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face. 2 s Whole brain, ROIs
Suslow et al. 2010 [30] 30 MDD, 26 HC 38.8 (11.4) (a) 72.2 ± 75.0; (b) 2.7 ± 2.0 Yes Sad, happy, neutral Subliminal emotion paradigm. Masked Ekman faces. Task: evaluative ratings of the neutral mask face (valence) + offline detection task. Prime: 33 ms; mask: 467 ms Whole brain, ROI
Townsend et al. 2010 [40] 15 MDD, 15 HC 46.6 (11.2) (a) 176.4 ± 159.6;
(b) 3 (median)
No Sad, fearful Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Control task: match shapes.   Whole brain, ROIs
Victor et al. 2010 [29] 22 MDD (16 MDDr), 25 HC 33.2 (5.0) Not reported No Sad, happy, neutral Subliminal emotion paradigm. NimStim set of facial expressions. Task: remember the neutral target face and respond to indicate whether this target face appears during the current trial. Prime: 26 ms; mask: 107 ms Whole brain, ROI
Zhong et al. 2011 [36] 29 MDD, 31 HC, (26 CV subjects) 20.45 (1.82) Not reported No Fearful, angry Emotion face-matching task. Standardized set of Chinese facial expressions. Implicit task: match faces. Control task: match shapes. 5 s ROI, Whole brain
Functional connectivity studies:
Almeida et al. 2009 [47] 16 MDD, 16 HC, (15 BDD) 32.3 (9.7) (a) 13.4 ± 9.6; (b) not reported Yes Sad, happy, neutral Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed 50% and 100% intensity. Explicit task: label emotion. 2 s Dynamic causal modeling
Carballedo et al. 2011 [48] 15 MDD, 15 HC 39.87 (8.57) Not reported No Sad, angry Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Control task: match shapes. 5.25 s Structural equation modeling
Chen et al. 2008 [49] 19 MDD, 19 HC 34.3
(8.6)
Not reported No Sad Facial expression processing paradigm. Ekman faces. Morphed to express low, medium and high intensities. Implicit task: indicate the sex of the face. 3 s Functional connectivity
Dannlowski et al. 2009 [50] 34 MDD, 31 HC 38.6 (12.2) (a) 125.0 ± 125.5; (b) 4.7 ± 5.3 Yes Sad, angry, happy, neutral Passive face viewing paradigm. Ekman faces. 500 ms Functional connectivity
Frodl et al. 2010 [51] 25 MDD, 15 HC 39.4 (10.4) (a) 51.8 ± 63.9; (b) 1.52 ± 0.6 No Sad, angry Emotion face-matching task. Ekman faces. Explicit task: match emotion. Implicit task: match gender. Control task: match shapes.   Functional connectivity
Mathews et al. 2008 [28] 15 MDD, 16 HC 24.5 (5.5) (a) not reported; (b) 4.46 No Angry, fear, happy Emotion face-matching task. Emotional faces. Task: match faces. 5 s Functional connectivity
  1. BDD, bipolar disorder; BDDr, bipolar disorder remitted; CV, cognitive vulnerability; MDDr, major depressive disorder remitted; ROI, region of interest