A Relationship Between Adolescents With Depression And The Activation Of Their Amygdala

1943 Words Mar 29th, 2015 8 Pages
Varying Degrees of Adolescents with Major Depression and
Their Effect on Amygdala Activation
Tony Yang and others’ study, “Adolescents with Major Depression Demonstrate Increased Amygdala Activation,” is an influential study of developmental psychology because of the insight it brought into the relationship of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or Dysthymia and the activation of the amygdala in adolescents. Major Depressive Disorder is defined as a two week interval of sad mood, loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, weight loss/gain, appetite loss, feelings of worthlessness, guilt and concentration difficulties. As told in lecture on March 9th 2015, Dysthymia differs from MDD, it is when a person’s mood is regularly low and symptoms are not as severe. (Monk, Lecture 13, 2015). Yang et al. aimed to find a relationship between adolescents with depression and the activation of their amygdala. The researchers hypothesized that the amygdala would be active in both groups, but activation would be greater in the adolescents with MDD compared to the healthy controls (Yang et al. 2010).
The experimental group, those that had a current DSM-IV diagnosis of MDD, consisted of twelve adolescents, five girls and seven boys, ages 14.08-17.25 years old. The control group was a carefully matched group of twelve adolescents made up of five girls and seven boys, 12.75-17.58 years old. All subjects were placed through a rigorous screening process which included tests such as:…
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