open access

Vol 14, No 2 (2017)
Review paper
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What do we know about anhedonia? State of the art and research methods

Jan Szczypiński, Mateusz Gola
Psychiatria 2017;14(2):65-74.

open access

Vol 14, No 2 (2017)
Prace poglądowe - nadesłane

Abstract

Anhedonia (originally defined as „inability to experience pleasure”) occurs as a symptom in major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, addiction and also as a trait in the general population. However, recent studies on experiencing pleasure make classical definition of anhedonia out-of-date. The feeling of pleasure is tied to reward processing which consists of three phases - learning, wanting and liking. Each of these phase is related to neuronal activity within the reward system, and abnormalities in this system result in anhedonia. Recent studies use variety of methods to investigate and redefine anhedonia. Here we present the most frequently used questionnaires assessing anhedonia: PAS, SAS, SHAPS, TEPS and DARS. We discuss their psychometric properties and theoretical assumptions. We also describe experimental procedures used in studies on anhedonia allowing for measurement of neuronal activity during the phases of learning, wanting and liking. Use of multi-level measurements of subjective reports, behavioral and neuronal activity allow for complex analysis of anhedonia and comparisons of its characteristics between different clinical and non-clinical populations. Applying both: questionnarires and experimental procedures seems to be an effective way to assess anhedonia not only for research purpose, but also for clinical diagnosis.

Abstract

Anhedonia (originally defined as „inability to experience pleasure”) occurs as a symptom in major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, addiction and also as a trait in the general population. However, recent studies on experiencing pleasure make classical definition of anhedonia out-of-date. The feeling of pleasure is tied to reward processing which consists of three phases - learning, wanting and liking. Each of these phase is related to neuronal activity within the reward system, and abnormalities in this system result in anhedonia. Recent studies use variety of methods to investigate and redefine anhedonia. Here we present the most frequently used questionnaires assessing anhedonia: PAS, SAS, SHAPS, TEPS and DARS. We discuss their psychometric properties and theoretical assumptions. We also describe experimental procedures used in studies on anhedonia allowing for measurement of neuronal activity during the phases of learning, wanting and liking. Use of multi-level measurements of subjective reports, behavioral and neuronal activity allow for complex analysis of anhedonia and comparisons of its characteristics between different clinical and non-clinical populations. Applying both: questionnarires and experimental procedures seems to be an effective way to assess anhedonia not only for research purpose, but also for clinical diagnosis.

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Keywords

anhedonia, feeling of pleasure, learning, wanting, liking, research methods

About this article
Title

What do we know about anhedonia? State of the art and research methods

Journal

Psychiatria (Psychiatry)

Issue

Vol 14, No 2 (2017)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

65-74

Bibliographic record

Psychiatria 2017;14(2):65-74.

Keywords

anhedonia
feeling of pleasure
learning
wanting
liking
research methods

Authors

Jan Szczypiński
Mateusz Gola

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