Dr. Alison Fleming - 2016 to 2018
University of Toronto

“Responsiveness to Infant Cues in Postpartum Depression and Non-Depressed Mothers: Functional Neural Correlates and their Relation to Behavior”

This proposal describes a study that follows on our initial proposal that was funded by the OMHF for two years. The publications coming out of that proposal focused on the amygdala (AMY) as a mediator of emotion leads to our present proposal, which focuses on mothers’ appraisal of infant and non-infant cues as rewarding, and on neural responses in the mesolimbic (nucleus accubmens, NAC) reward system. This proposal is unique in that it explores three networks together - the maternal, emotion and reward brain networks - and their effects on one another in mothers and non-mothers who have experienced varying degrees of depression.