Correlation of within-individual fluctuation of depressed mood with prefrontal cortex activity during verbal working memory task: Optical topography study

Hiroki Sato, Ryuta Aoki, Takusige Katura, Ryoichi Matsuda, Hideaki Koizumi

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies showed that interindividual variations in mood state are associated with prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity. In this study, we focused on the depressed-mood state under natural circumstances and examined the relationship between within-individual changes over time in this mood state and PFC activity.We used optical topography (OT), a functional imaging technique based on near-infrared spectroscopy, to measure PFC activity for each participant in three experimental sessions repeated at 2-week intervals. In each session, the participants completed a self-report questionnaire of mood state and underwent OT measurement while performing verbal and spatial working memory (WM) tasks. The results showed that changes in the depressed-mood score between successive sessions were negatively correlated with those in the left PFC activation for the verbal WM task (P = -0.56, p < 0.05). In contrast, the PFC activation for the spatial WM task did not co-vary with participants' mood changes. We thus demonstrated that PFC activity during a verbal WM task varies depending on the participant's depressed mood state, independent of trait factors. This suggests that using optical topography to measure PFC activity during a verbalWM task can be used as a potential state marker for an individual's depressed mood state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126007
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 1



  • Depressed mood
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Optical topography
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Profile of mood states
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering

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