A small-sample study at the University of Illinois suggests that young adults suffering from depression may have hyper-connected emotional and cognitive networks in the brain. As a medical term, hyper-connectivity refers to the flow of billions of neurons in the brain creating excessive connections, associated with schizophrenia or epileptic seizures. The term arises from the field of computer networking, recognizing the complexity and simultaneity of several forms of communication occurring through a network (person-to-person, person-to-machine, machine-to-machine).
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to focus on brain patterns among depressed young people, the research team detected hyper-connected regions of the brain that caused people to obsess about problems without coming to conclusions.
The small sample size and short period of investigation means that these findings are preliminary and not necessarily predictive. Much more research is needed in this area. (see PLOS ONE, Aug. 27).
[Image from PSB.org]