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Reward Processing in Aging and Depression (RAD)

Clinical Trial Details

This study will use task-based fMRI and computational modeling to examine how age and late-life depressive symptomatology influence neural network functions and resulting reward and salience processes. This is an observational study that aims to characterize abnormalities in the reward system and salience network at a single timepoint in older adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder and psychiatrically normal controls.

Eligible participants will first complete an assessment session, during which clinical and self- report scales will be administered. Within two business days of the assessment session, participants will complete an MRI scan. We will investigate the association between fMRI activation, behavioral performance, and assessment scores.

Key Eligibility: 

Inclusion Criteria

  • Age of 60-85 Years
  • Diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) - Depressed Participants Only
  • No history or presence of any psychiatric diagnosis - Control Participants Only

Exclusion Criteria

  • History or presence of psychiatric diagnoses other than major depressive disorder without psychotic features, persistent depression, generalized anxiety disorder, or specific phobias (Depressed Participants Only)
  • Diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
  • Neurological disorders (stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, etc.); advanced cardiac, renal, or respiratory failure; severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; metastatic cancer; debilitated states or less common medical illnesses that may either influence neural systems of interest or ability to participate in the study
  • Use of psychotropic drugs or cholinesterase inhibitors (other than use of ≤ 0.5mg of lorazepam daily up to five times per week or current use of a stable dose (at least 12 weeks) of an antidepressant)
  • Contraindications to MRI scanning including cardiac pacemaker, heart valve replacement, vascular stent, insulin pump, cochlear implant, any other metallic biomedical implant contraindicating to MRI, claustrophobia

Study contact by location

Upper East Side - Manhattan


Delaney Callaghan
646-289-5204 ext. 714

Primary Investigator(s)

Lindsay Victoria, PhD  (UES)

Protocol ID(s)

Weill Cornell Medicine IRB #:



K01 MH118480


Open to Enrollment

Age Group