Neural networks during delay discounting as trans-disease marker: A meta-analytical review

Zhiyi Chen, Benjamin Becker, Pengmin Qin, Wei Lei, Jing Chen, Peiwei Liu, Tian Lin, Chenyan Zhang, Rong Zhang, Mengmeng Wang, Ting Xu, Yaqi Yang, Pan Feng, Tingyong Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Delay discounting reflects a devaluation of delayed long-term benefits but pursuing immediate rewards. Higher discounting rates (h-DR) are found ubiquitous in many diseases and unhealthy conditions, particularly in addiction disorder (AD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obesity. Thus, h-DR was considered to be a common benchmark across many diseases facilitating to understand one disease to relevant others, which was called trans-disease process. However, the common and specific neural biomarkers associated with this process has not yet been studied well. We performed a voxel-wise task-related neuroimaging meta-analysis to clarify the neural pattern of trans-disease process across AD, ADHD and obesity. We recruited 19 eligible papers, including 9 AD papers (154 patients), 6 ADHD papers (106 patients) and 4 obesity studies (94 patients). Neuroimaging meta-analysis demonstrated the presence of neural biomarkers of trans-disease process: these patients showed inadequate brain response in caudate, ventromedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) than do of healthy controls (HCs). Disease-specific neural patterns were also found, with prominent hypoactivation in parahippocampal-striatum network for AD, hyperactivation in dopamine-projection striatum network for ADHD and decreased activity in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and dlPFC for obesity. This study provided robust evidence to reveal the neural substrates of trans-disease process, as well further promoted the triple brain network model in favor of the theoretical developments of these neuropsychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Meta-analysis
  • NeuroImaging
  • Trans-disease process
  • Triple network system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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