Apathy Is Related to Reduced Activation in Cognitive Control Regions During Set-Shifting

Nicky G. Klaasen*, Claire Kos, Andre Aleman, Esther M. Opmeer

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

5 Citaten (Scopus)


Apathy is a prominent and influential symptom in several neurological and psychiatric disorders, but it also occurs in the healthy population. It has considerable impact on daily life functioning, in clinical as well as healthy samples. Even though cognitive control is thought to be disrupted in people with apathy, the exact neural underpinnings of apathy remain unclear. Because flexible shifting between behaviors (set-shifting) is crucial for goal-directed behavior, disruptions in set-shifting may underlie apathy. In this study, the neural correlates of apathy during set-shifting were studied in 34 healthy participants with varying levels of apathy, measured by the Apathy Evaluation Scale. During functional MRI scanning participants performed a set-shifting task, distinguishing between behavioral switches (a change in response to different stimuli), cognitive switches (a change in response rule), and salience decoupling (detecting a change in relevant stimuli). Regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between apathy and brain activation. Results showed that higher apathy scores were related to reduced activation in the medial superior frontal gyrus and cerebellum (Crus I/II) during cognitive set-shifting, but not behavioral shifting and salience decoupling. No relationship between apathy and accuracy or response time was found. These results support the idea that alterations in the neural basis of cognitive control, especially cognitive set-shifting, may contribute to apathy. (C) 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)2722-2733
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftHuman brain mapping
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
Vroegere onlinedatum3-mrt-2017
StatusPublished - mei-2017

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