Familial and disease specific abnormalities in the neural correlates of the Stroop Task in Bipolar Disorder

Francesco Pompei, Jigar Jogia, Roberto Tatarelli, Paolo Girardi, Katya Rubia, Veena Kumari, Sophia Frangou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with Bipolar Disorder (BD) perform poorly on tasks of selective attention and inhibitory control. Although similar behavioural deficits have been noted in their relatives, it is yet unclear whether they reflect dysfunction in the same neural circuits. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and the Stroop Colour Word Task to compare task related neural activity between 39 euthymic BD patients, 39 of their first-degree relatives (25 with no Axis I disorders and 14 with Major Depressive Disorder) and 48 healthy controls. Compared to controls, all individuals with familial predisposition to BD, irrespective of diagnosis, showed similar reductions in neural responsiveness in regions involved in selective attention within the posterior and inferior parietal lobules. In contrast, hypoactivation within fronto-striatal regions, implicated in inhibitory control, was observed only in BD patients and MDD relatives. Although striatal deficits were comparable between BD patients and their MDD relatives, right ventrolateral prefrontal dysfunction was uniquely associated with BD. Our findings suggest that while reduced parietal engagement relates to genetic risk, fronto-striatal dysfunction reflects processes underpinning disease expression for mood disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1677-1684
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuroimage. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Pompei, F, Jogia, J, Tatarelli, R, Girardi, P, Rubia, K, Kumari, V & Frangou, S, 'Familial and disease specific abnormalities in the neural correlates of the Stroop Task in Bipolar Disorder' Neuroimage, vol. 56, no. 3 (2011) DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.02.052


  • selective attention
  • response inhibition
  • fMRI
  • genetic
  • bipolar disorder


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