Neural correlates of substance abuse: Reduced functional connectivity between areas underlying reward and cognitive control
ABSTRACT Substance use disorders (SUD) have been associated with dysfunction in reward processing, habit formation, and cognitive-behavioral control. Accordingly, neurocircuitry models of addiction highlight roles for nucleus accumbens, dorsal striatum, and prefrontal/anterior cingulate cortex. However, the precise nature of the disrupted interactions between these brain regions in SUD, and the psychological correlates thereof, remain unclear. Here we used magnetic resonance imaging to measure rest-state functional connectivity of three key striatal nuclei (nucleus accumbens, dorsal caudate, and dorsal putamen) in a sample of 40 adult male prison inmates (n = 22 diagnosed with SUD; n = 18 without SUD). Relative to the non-SUD group, the SUD group exhibited significantly lower functional connectivity between the nucleus accumbens and a network of frontal cortical regions involved in cognitive control (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and frontal operculum). There were no group differences in functional connectivity for the dorsal caudate or dorsal putamen. Moreover, the SUD group exhibited impairments in laboratory measures of cognitive-behavioral control, and individual differences in functional connectivity between nucleus accumbens and the frontal cortical regions were related to individual differences in measures of cognitive-behavioral control across groups. The strength of the relationship between functional connectivity and cognitive control did not differ between groups. These results indicate that SUD is associated with abnormal interactions between subcortical areas that process reward (nucleus accumbens) and cortical areas that govern cognitive-behavioral control. Hum Brain Mapp, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
SourceAvailable from: Arielle Baskin-Sommers[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A common criticism of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) is that its criteria are based more on behavioral descriptions than on underlying biological mechanisms. Increasingly, calls have intensified for a more biologically-based approach to conceptualizing, studying, and treating psychological disorders, as exemplified by the Research Domain Criteria Project (RDoC). Among the most well-studied neurobiological mechanisms is reward processing. Moreover, individual differences in reward sensitivity are related to risk for substance abuse and depression. The current review synthesizes the available preclinical, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging literature on reward processing from a transdiagnostic, multidimensional perspective. Findings are organized with respect to key reward constructs within the Positive Valence Systems domain of the RDoC matrix, including initial responsiveness to reward (physiological 'liking'), approach motivation (physiological 'wanting'), and reward learning/habit formation. The current review (a) describes the neural basis of reward, (b) elucidate differences in reward activity in substance abuse and depression, and (c) suggest a framework for integrating these disparate literatures and discuss the utility of shifting focus from diagnosis to process for understanding liability and co-morbidity. Ultimately, we believe that an integrative focus on abnormal reward functioning across the full continuum of clinically heterogeneous samples, rather than within circumscribed diagnostic categories, might actually help to refine the phenotype and improve the prediction of onset and recovery of these disorders. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology 02/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2015.01.011 · 2.65 Impact Factor