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Dr Cynthia H.Y. Fu  MD PhD
Senior Clinical Lecturer
Hon Consultant Psychiatrist, National Affective Disorders Service, SLaM NHS Trust

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tel020 7848 5350
fax020 7848 0783

Institute of Psychiatry
Box  P074
De Crespigny Park
United Kingdom, SE5 8AF

location 103 Denmark Hill
departmentsMRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre
Psychological Medicine

activities and interests

Depression Study

Depression is an illness which may affect up to 1 in 5 women and men in their lifetimes. Individuals suffering from depression typically experience a low mood or difficulty in enjoying things to the extent that it also affects how they relate to their family members and friends and how they may function in their day to day activities.

In the Depression Study, we are looking at regions in the brain which are affected by depression and how these regions may change following treatment with antidepressant medication. This study is led by Dr Cynthia Fu and builds upon her previous research in how different treatments affect brain activity in individuals suffering from depression, including the talking therapy cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and antidepressant medications.

These studies have shown that depression is associated with changes in structure and activity in affective and cognitive processing networks in the brain. Her research is also leading to the development of biological markers to help to diagnose depression and to help to predict who will respond to treatment and to which type of therapy.

If you would like to take part or to find out more, please contact Dr Fu or the study coordinators, Tracey Adams and Anjali Sankar at: or by phone: 020 7848 0262/5350.

teaching activities

Maudsley Training Programme » MRCPsych


Selected Publications

Prognostic and Diagnostic Neuroimaging Biomarkers:

Nouretdinov I, Costafreda SG, Gammerman A, Chervonenkis A, Vovk V, Vapnik V, Fu CH. Machine learning classification with confidence: application of transductive conformal predictors to MRI-based diagnostic and prognostic markers in depression. Neuroimage. 2011 May 15;56(2):809-13. Epub 2010 May 17.

Costafreda SG, Fu CH, Picchioni M, Toulopoulou T, McDonald C, Kravariti E, Walshe M, Prata D, Murray RM, McGuire PK.Pattern of neural responses to verbal fluency shows diagnostic specificity for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. BMC Psychiatry. 2011 Jan 28;11:18.

Costafreda SG, Chu C, Ashburner J, Fu CH. Prognostic and diagnostic potential of the structural neuroanatomy of depression. PLoS One. 2009 Jul 27;4(7):e6353.

Costafreda SG, Fu CH, Picchioni M, Kane F, McDonald C, Prata DP, Kalidindi S, Walshe M, Curtis V, Bramon E, Kravariti E, Marshall N, Toulopoulou T, Barker GJ, David AS, Brammer MJ, Murray RM, McGuire PK. Increased inferior frontal activation during word generation: a marker of genetic risk for schizophrenia but not bipolar disorder? Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Oct;30(10):3287-98.

Costafreda SG, Khanna A, Mourao-Miranda J, Fu CH. Neural correlates of sad faces predict clinical remission to cognitive behavioural therapy in depression. Neuroreport. 2009 May 6;20(7):637-41.

Marquand AF, Mourão-Miranda J, Brammer MJ, Cleare AJ, Fu CH. Neuroanatomy of verbal working memory as a diagnostic biomarker for depression. Neuroreport. 2008 Oct 8;19(15):1507-11.

Fu CH, Mourao-Miranda J, Costafreda SG, Khanna A, Marquand AF, Williams SC, Brammer MJ. Pattern classification of sad facial processing: toward the development of neurobiological markers in depression. Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Apr 1;63(7):656-62. Epub 2007 Oct 22.


Cole J, Costafreda SG, McGuffin P, Fu CH. Hippocampal atrophy in first episode depression: A meta-analysis of magnetic resonance imaging studies. J Affect Disord. 2011 Jul 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Costafreda SG, Brammer MJ, David AS, Fu CH. Predictors of amygdala activation during the processing of emotional stimuli: a meta-analysis of 385 PET and fMRI studies. Brain Res Rev. 2008 Jun;58(1):57-70. Epub 2007 Nov 12.

Mood Disorders:

Cole J, Weinberger DR, Mattay VS, Cheng X, Toga AW, Thompson PM, Powell-Smith G, Cohen-Woods S, Simmons A, McGuffin P, Fu CH. No effect of 5HTTLPR or BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on hippocampal morphology in major depression. Genes Brain Behav. 2011 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print]

Cole J, Toga AW, Hojatkashani C, Thompson P, Costafreda SG, Cleare AJ, Williams SC, Bullmore ET, Scott JL, Mitterschiffthaler MT, Walsh ND, Donaldson C, Mirza M, Marquand A, Nosarti C, McGuffin P, Fu CH. Subregional hippocampal deformations in major depressive disorder. J Affect Disord. 2010 Oct;126(1-2):272-7.

Juruena MF, Giampietro VP, Smith SD, Surguladze SA, Dalton JA, Benson PJ, Cleare AJ, Fu CH. Amygdala activation to masked happy facial expressions. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2010 Mar;16(2):383-7.

Fu CH, Williams SC, Cleare AJ, Scott J, Mitterschiffthaler MT, Walsh ND, Donaldson C, Suckling J, Andrew C, Steiner H, Murray RM. Neural responses to sad facial expressions in major depression following cognitive behavioral therapy. Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Sep 15;64(6):505-12.

Chen CH, Suckling J, Ooi C, Fu CH, Williams SC, Walsh ND, Mitterschiffthaler MT, Pich EM, Bullmore E. Functional coupling of the amygdala in depressed patients treated with antidepressant medication. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008 Jul;33(8):1909-18.

Mitterschiffthaler MT, Williams SC, Walsh ND, Cleare AJ, Donaldson C, Scott J, Fu CH. Neural basis of the emotional Stroop interference effect in major depression. Psychol Med. 2008 Feb;38(2):247-56.

Walsh ND, Williams SC, Brammer MJ, Bullmore ET, Kim J, Suckling J, Mitterschiffthaler MT, Cleare AJ, Pich EM, Mehta MA, Fu CH. A longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging study of verbal working memory in depression after antidepressant therapy. Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Dec 1;62(11):1236-43.

Fu CH, Williams SC, Brammer MJ, Suckling J, Kim J, Cleare AJ, Walsh ND, Mitterschiffthaler MT, Andrew CM, Pich EM, Bullmore ET. Neural responses to happy facial expressions in major depression following antidepressant treatment. Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Apr;164(4):599-607.

Mitterschiffthaler MT, Fu CH, Dalton JA, Andrew CM, Williams SC.A functional MRI study of happy and sad affective states induced by classical music. Hum Brain Mapp. 2007 Nov;28(11):1150-62.

Chen CH, Ridler K, Suckling J, Williams S, Fu CH, Merlo-Pich E, Bullmore E.Brain imaging correlates of depressive symptom severity and predictors of symptom improvement after antidepressant treatment. Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Sep 1;62(5):407-14.

Fu CH, Williams SC, Cleare AJ, Brammer MJ, Walsh ND, Kim J, Andrew CM, Pich EM, Williams PM, Reed LJ, Mitterschiffthaler MT, Suckling J, Bullmore ET. Attenuation of the neural response to sad faces in major depression by antidepressant treatment: a prospective, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004 Sep;61(9):877-89.


Prata DP, Mechelli A, Picchioni M, Fu CH, Kane F, Kalidindi S, McDonald C, Kravariti E, Toulopoulou T, Bramon E, Walshe M, Murray R, Collier DA, McGuire PK. No association of Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 variation with prefrontal function in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Genes Brain Behav. 2011 Apr;10(3):276-85.

Prata DP, Mechelli A, Picchioni MM, Fu CH, Toulopoulou T, Bramon E, Walshe M, Murray RM, Collier DA, McGuire P. Altered effect of dopamine transporter 3’UTR VNTR genotype on prefrontal and striatal function in schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 Nov;66(11):1162-72.

Prata DP, Mechelli A, Fu CH, Picchioni M, Kane F, Kalidindi S, McDonald C, Kravariti E, Toulopoulou T, Miorelli A, Murray R, Collier DA, McGuire PK. Effect of disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 on pre-frontal cortical function. Mol Psychiatry. 2008 Oct;13(10):915-7, 909.

Costafreda SG, Brébion G, Allen P, McGuire PK, Fu CH. Affective modulation of external misattribution bias in source monitoring in schizophrenia. Psychol Med. 2008 Jun;38(6):821-4.

Fu CH, Brammer MJ, Yágüez L, Allen P, Matsumoto K, Johns L, Weinstein S, Borgwardt S, Broome M, van Haren N, McGuire PK. Increased superior temporal activation associated with external misattributions of self-generated speech in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2008 Mar;100(1-3):361-3.

Allen P, Amaro E, Fu CH, Williams SC, Brammer MJ, Johns LC, McGuire PK.Neural correlates of the misattribution of speech in schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Feb;190:162-9.

Fu CH, McIntosh AR, Kim J, Chau W, Bullmore ET, Williams SC, Honey GD, McGuire PK. Modulation of effective connectivity by cognitive demand in phonological verbal fluency. Neuroimage. 2006 Mar;30(1):266-71.

Fu CH, Vythelingum GN, Brammer MJ, Williams SC, Amaro E Jr, Andrew CM, Yágüez L, van Haren NE, Matsumoto K, McGuire PK.An fMRI study of verbal self-monitoring: neural correlates of auditory verbal feedback. Cereb Cortex. 2006 Jul;16(7):969-77.
Fu CH, Suckling J, Williams SC, Andrew CM, Vythelingum GN, McGuire PK.Effects of psychotic state and task demand on prefrontal function in schizophrenia: an fMRI study of overt verbal fluency. Am J Psychiatry. 2005 Mar;162(3):485-94.

Fu CH, Morgan K, Suckling J, Williams SC, Andrew C, Vythelingum GN, McGuire PK.A functional magnetic resonance imaging study of overt letter verbal fluency using a clustered acquisition sequence: greater anterior cingulate activation with increased task demand. Neuroimage. 2002 Oct;17(2):871-9.

Pharmacological Probes:

Stone JM, Abel KM, Allin MP, van Haren N, Matsumoto K, McGuire PK, Fu CH. Ketamine-induced disruption of verbal self-monitoring linked to superior temporal activation. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2011 Jan;44(1):33-48.

Fusar-Poli P, Allen P, Lee F, Surguladze S, Tunstall N, Fu CH, Brammer MJ, Cleare AJ, McGuire PK. Modulation of neural response to happy and sad faces by acute tryptophan depletion. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Jul;193(1):31-44.

Fu CH, Abel KM, Allin MP, Gasston D, Costafreda SG, Suckling J, Williams SC, McGuire PK. Effects of ketamine on prefrontal and striatal regions in an overt verbal fluency task: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Nov;183(1):92-102.

Fu CH, Reed LJ, Meyer JH, Kennedy S, Houle S, Eisfeld BS, Brown GM. Noradrenergic dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex in depression: an [15O] H2O PET study of the neuromodulatory effects of clonidine. Biol Psychiatry. 2001 Feb 15;49(4):317-25.

Chapters and Book:

Fu CHY, Walsh ND, Drevets WC (2003) Neuroimaging studies of mood disorders. A Guide to Neuroimaging in Psychiatry (Editors: Fu CHY, Russell T, Senior C, Weinberger DR, Murray RM) Martin Dunitz, UK pp 131-169.

Fu CHY, Russell T, Senior C, Weinberger DR, Murray RM :Editors (2003) A Guide to Neuroimaging in Psychiatry Martin Dunitz, London, UK.

Fu CHY, McGuire PK (2003) Hearing voices or hearing the self in disguise? Revealing the neural correlates of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia. The Self in Neuroscience and Psychiatry (Editors: Kircher T, David AS) Cambridge University Press, UK pp 425-435.

News & Press Releases:

Wellcome Trust Blog, 2011-14-01

WNYC Radio Lab:
How to Cure What Ails You, 2008-12-05

Wellcome Trust 2008 Annual Review and in News and Features:
Using Brain Imaging to Diagnose Depression, 2008-04-10

last updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011