ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2010, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (02): 271-281.

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Endophenotype of Depression: Anhedonia and Its Measurements

LIU Wen-Hua; CHAN Raymond C. K.; HUANG Min-Er   

  1. Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Guangzhou Medical College, Guangzhou 510182, China
  • Received:2009-10-30 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2010-02-15 Published:2010-02-15
  • Contact: CHAN Raymond C. K

Abstract: Anhedonia is defined as the diminished capacity to experience pleasure, which is widely recognized to occur in depression, and is a prominent feature that is involved in several types of psychiatric disorders and maladaptive behaviors. Although anhedonia is regarded as an important symptom in psychopathology, it has received relatively little attention. To better understand the role of anhedonia in depression, this paper reviews the relationship between depression and anhedonia, and the neural substrates of anhedonia linked to a dysfunction of the dopaminergic reward system. It also highlights two facets of hedonic capacity (anticipatory and consummatory pleasure) and addresses some measurement issues of anhedonia. Further research is needed to be conducted in the near future to explore whether anhedonia might be the most possible endophenotype of depression and the role in development of depression.

Key words: anhedonia, depression, neural substrate, brain reward system, measurement