Year: 2022 Source: Journal of Clinical Medicine. (2021). 10(16), 3561. SIEC No: 20220258

Although prior work has shown heightened response to negative outcomes and reduced response to positive outcomes in youth with a history of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), little is known about the neural processes underlying these responses. Thus, this study examined associations between NSSI engagement and functional activation in specific regions of interest (ROIs) and whole-brain connectivity between striatal, frontal, and limbic region seeds during monetary and social reward tasks. To test for specificity of the influence of NSSI, analyses were conducted with and without depressive symptoms as a covariate. We found that NSSI was associated with decreased activation following monetary gains in all ROIs, even after controlling for depressive symptoms. Exploratory connectivity analyses found that NSSI was associated with differential connectivity between regions including the DS, vmPFC, insula, and parietal operculum cortex when controlling for depressive symptoms. Disrupted connectivity between these regions could suggest altered inhibitory control of emotions and pain processing in individuals with NSSI. Findings suggest dysfunctional reward processes in youth with NSSI, even very early in the course of the behavior.