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The Orbitofrontal Cortex$
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David Zald and Scott Rauch

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198565741

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198565741.001.0001

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The role of the ventral prefrontal cortex in mood disorders

The role of the ventral prefrontal cortex in mood disorders

(p.545) Chapter 21 The role of the ventral prefrontal cortex in mood disorders
The Orbitofrontal Cortex

Carolyn A. Fredericks

Jessica H. Kalmar

Hilary P. Blumberg

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews evidence supporting a prominent role for the ventral prefrontal cortex (vPFC) in the neuropathophysiology of mood disorders. Findings from multiple studies of mood disorders, using a variety of research methods, converge within a broad vPFC region that encompasses medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex, subgenual and pregenual anterior cingulate, as well as medial and rostral frontal cortices. Despite heterogeneity in the specific subregions of vPFC reported in these studies, the vPFC region emerges as a crucial node within a distributed cortico-limbic neural system disrupted in mood disorders. Research that has elucidated the functions of the vPFC and brain structures with significant connectivity to vPFC strongly implicates the vPFC and its connected circuitry in the deficits in emotional and behavioral regulation characteristic of major depression and bipolar disorder.

Keywords:   major depression, bipolar disorder, neuroimaging, mood, affect, cingulate

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