Amygdala Developmental Psychology

1098 Words 4 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 onto the relationship of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or Dysthymia and the activation of the amygdala in adolescents (Yang et al. 2010). Major Depressive Disorder is defined as a two week interval with sad mood, loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, weight loss/gain, appetite loss, feelings of worthlessness, guilt and concentration difficulties. While Dysthymia is when a person’s mood is regularly low and symptoms are not as severe as MDD. (Monk,
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conducted their experiment by having them perform a facial-emotion matching task and a shape-matching task before an fMRI scan. A functional MRI machine measures blood flow to specific regions of the brain, and was used because a PET scan cannot be used with children under eighteen years of age. The facial-emotion matching task involved “a target face located at the top of the screen and 2 probe faces located at the bottom of the screen…participants were asked to match the target face with one of the two probe faces that had the same emotional expression by pressing the left or right button on a response box” (Yang et al., 44, 2010). To control the study, the order of the faces were randomized and were kept consistent across all participants. The shape-processing task consisted of the same procedure with tall or wide ovals instead of facial emotions. The face-matching task was used because it triggered the amygdala by eliciting an emotion. On the other hand, the shape task was used for a baseline activation model because it did not elicit an …show more content…
A possible prevention model that could decrease the potential development of depression for adolescents would be a dual school-program/charity. My prevention would target specifically those who have a family history of depression and those that are under stress, have anxiety, or were abused/neglected. I feel like if I am able to target all of these risk factors it will help enormously with those struggling with depression and those who have an increased risk for it. As I stated before this would be an school program, preferably after school, and it would help students with the homework, give them space to hang out with their friends, space to meet new friends, and have a psychologist on hand to help students deal with their problems. I would want to encourage all students to attend, because while certain adolescents are more prevalent for having depression, anyone can have it. From experience reducing anxiety about school-work and meeting other students who are in the same position would help out with the feelings of

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