Cognitive behavioral therapy changes functional connectivity between medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices

Shinpei Yoshimura*, Yasumasa Okamoto, Miki Matsunaga, Keiichi Onoda, Go Okada, Yoshihiko Kunisato, Atsuo Yoshino, Kazutaka Ueda, Shin ichi Suzuki, Shigeto Yamawaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background Depression is characterized by negative self-cognition. Our previous study (Yoshimura et al. 2014) revealed changes in brain activity after cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression, but changes in functional connectivity were not assessed. Method This study included 29 depressive patients and 15 healthy control participants. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging was used to investigate possible CBT-related functional connectivity changes associated with negative emotional self-referential processing. Depressed and healthy participants (overlapping with our previous study, Yoshimura et al. 2014) were included. We defined a seed region (medial prefrontal cortex) and coupled region (ACC) based on our previous study, and we examined changes in MPFC-ACC functional connectivity from pretreatment to posttreatment. Results CBT was associated with reduced functional connectivity between the MPFC and ACC. Symptom change with CBT was positively correlated with change in MPFC-ACC functional connectivity. Limitations Patients received pharmacotherapy including antidepressant. The present sample size was quite small and more study is needed. Statistical threshold in fMRI analysis was relatively liberal. Conclusions CBT for depression may disrupt MPFC-ACC connectivity, with associated improvements in depressive symptoms and dysfunctional cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-614
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 15


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Depression
  • FMRI
  • Functional connectivity
  • Self

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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