Depression is seen as the result of difficulties in emotion regulation. Based on fMRI studies on emotion regulation, neuroscientific models have focused on the concept of cognitive control, considering emotion regulation as a shift towards the involvement of controlled processes (associated with activation of prefrontal executive areas), instead of automatic reactions to emotional stimuli. According to these models, the weaker executive areas activation observed in depressed patients may be attributable to a lack of cognitive control over negative emotions. Going beyond the concept of cognitive control, psychodynamic models describe the development of individuals’ capacity to regulate their emotions in caregiver-infant interactions during childhood, through the construction of semantic representation of the self, others and relationships. In this poster, we link these psychodynamic models with recent findings regarding the abnormal functioning of the default system in depression. Consistently with psychodynamic models, psychological functions associated with the default system include self-related processing, semantic processes, and implicit forms of emotion regulation. The abnormal activation of the default system observed in depression may explain the dysfunctional aspects of emotion regulation typical of the condition, such as an exaggerated negative self-focus and rumination on self-esteem issues. We discuss the clinical implications of these findings with reference to the therapeutic relationship and therapeutic work on transference as key tools for revisiting impaired or distorted representations of the self and relational objects.

Abnormal default system functioning in depression: Convergence between psychodynamic models and neuroscience

MESSINA, IRENE;BIANCO, FRANCESCA;CALVO, VINCENZO;SAMBIN, MARCO
2016

Abstract

Depression is seen as the result of difficulties in emotion regulation. Based on fMRI studies on emotion regulation, neuroscientific models have focused on the concept of cognitive control, considering emotion regulation as a shift towards the involvement of controlled processes (associated with activation of prefrontal executive areas), instead of automatic reactions to emotional stimuli. According to these models, the weaker executive areas activation observed in depressed patients may be attributable to a lack of cognitive control over negative emotions. Going beyond the concept of cognitive control, psychodynamic models describe the development of individuals’ capacity to regulate their emotions in caregiver-infant interactions during childhood, through the construction of semantic representation of the self, others and relationships. In this poster, we link these psychodynamic models with recent findings regarding the abnormal functioning of the default system in depression. Consistently with psychodynamic models, psychological functions associated with the default system include self-related processing, semantic processes, and implicit forms of emotion regulation. The abnormal activation of the default system observed in depression may explain the dysfunctional aspects of emotion regulation typical of the condition, such as an exaggerated negative self-focus and rumination on self-esteem issues. We discuss the clinical implications of these findings with reference to the therapeutic relationship and therapeutic work on transference as key tools for revisiting impaired or distorted representations of the self and relational objects.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3195205
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