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The Cognitive Neuropsychology of Depression in Adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Behavioral Neuroscience Reports
Accepted/In press24 Aug 2019

King's Authors


Purpose of review: Adolescent depression is a major public health concern associated with severe outcomes. A lack of efficacious interventions has triggered an increase in cognitive neuropsychology research to identify relevant treatment targets for new interventions. This review summarises key neurocognitive findings in adolescent depression and explores the potential of neurocognitive markers as treatment targets in new interventions. Recent findings: Studies support difficulties in the voluntary deployment of attention towards and away from emotional stimuli, negative interpretation biases and overgeneralised autobiographical memories in adolescent depression; however, little evidence is given to a general decline in executive function. There is consistent evidence for abnormalities in several distributed neural networks in adolescent depression, including dysfunction in and between the amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum. Summary: The relationships between different cognitive biases and abnormalities in specific neural networks remain unclear. Several new experimental interventions targeting these neurocognitive markers await evaluation.

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