Frontoparietal cortical activity of methamphetamine-dependent and comparison subjects performing a delay discounting task.
ABSTRACT Relative to individuals who do not have addictive disorders, drug abusers exhibit greater devaluation of rewards as a function of their delay ("delay discounting"). The present study sought to extend this finding to methamphetamine (MA) abusers and to help understand its neural basis. MA abusers (n = 12) and control subjects who did not use illicit drugs (n = 17) participated in tests of delay discounting with hypothetical money rewards. We then used a derived estimate of each individual's delay discounting to generate a functional magnetic resonance imaging probe task consisting of three conditions: "hard choices," requiring selections between "smaller, sooner" and "larger, later" alternatives that were similarly valued given the individual's delay discounting; "easy choices," in which alternatives differed dramatically in value; and a "no choice" control condition. MA abusers exhibited more delay discounting than control subjects (P < 0.05). Across groups, the "hard choice > no choice" contrast revealed significant effects in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and areas surrounding the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). With group comparisons limited to these clusters, the "hard choice > easy choice" contrast indicated significant group differences in task-related activity within the left DLPFC and right IPS; qualitatively similar nonsignificant effects were present in the other clusters tested. Whereas control subjects showed less recruitment associated with easy than with hard choices, MA abusers generally did not. Correlational analysis did not indicate a relationship between this anomaly in frontoparietal recruitment and greater degree of delay discounting exhibited by MA abusers. Therefore, while apparent inefficiency of cortical processing related to decision-making in MA abusers may contribute to the neural basis of enhanced delay discounting by this population, other factors remain to be identified.
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ABSTRACT: One route to understanding the thoughts and feelings of others is by mentally putting one's self in their shoes and seeing the world from their perspective, i.e., by simulation. Simulation is potentially used not only for inferring how others feel, but also for predicting how we ourselves will feel in the future. For instance, one might judge the worth of a future reward by simulating how much it will eventually be enjoyed. In intertemporal choices between smaller immediate and larger delayed rewards, it is observed that as the length of delay increases, delayed rewards lose subjective value; a phenomenon known as temporal discounting. In this article, we develop a theoretical framework for the proposition that simulation mechanisms involved in empathizing with others also underlie intertemporal choices. This framework yields a testable psychological account of temporal discounting based on simulation. Such an account, if experimentally validated, could have important implications for how simulation mechanisms are investigated, and makes predictions about special populations characterized by putative deficits in simulating others.Frontiers in Neuroscience 04/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00094
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ABSTRACT: Impulsivity critically relates to many psychiatric disorders. Given the multifaceted construct that impulsivity represents, defining core aspects of impulsivity is vital for the assessment and understanding of clinical conditions. Choice impulsivity (CI), involving the preferential selection of smaller sooner rewards over larger later rewards, represents one important type of impulsivity. The International Society for Research on Impulsivity (InSRI) convened to discuss the definition and assessment of CI and provide recommendations regarding measurement across species. Commonly used preclinical and clinical CI behavioral tasks are described, and considerations for each task are provided to guide CI task selection. Differences in assessment of CI (self-report, behavioral) and calculating CI indices (e.g., area-under-the-curve, indifference point, and steepness of discounting curve) are discussed along with properties of specific behavioral tasks used in preclinical and clinical settings. The InSRI group recommends inclusion of measures of CI in human studies examining impulsivity. Animal studies examining impulsivity should also include assessments of CI and these measures should be harmonized in accordance with human studies of the disorders being modeled in the preclinical investigations. The choice of specific CI measures to be included should be based on the goals of the study and existing preclinical and clinical literature using established CI measures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment 04/2015; 6(2):182-198. DOI:10.1037/per0000099 · 3.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Individuals with substance use disorders typically exhibit a predilection toward instant gratification with apparent disregard for the future consequences of their actions. Indirect evidence suggests that low dopamine D2-type receptor availability in the striatum contributes to the propensity of these individuals to sacrifice long-term goals for short-term gain; however, this possibility has not been tested directly. We investigated whether striatal D2/D3 receptor availability is negatively correlated with preference for smaller, more immediate rewards over larger, delayed alternatives among research participants who met DSM-IV criteria for methamphetamine (MA) dependence. Methods: Fifty-four adults (n = 27 each: MA-dependent, non-user controls) completed the Kirby Monetary Choice Questionnaire, and underwent positron emission tomography (PET) scanning with [(18)F]fallypride. Results: MA users displayed steeper temporal discounting (p = 0.030) and lower striatal D2/D3 receptor availability (p < 0.001) than controls. Discount rate was negatively correlated with striatal D2/D3 receptor availability, with the relationship reaching statistical significance in the combined sample (r = -0.291, p = 0.016) and among MA users alone (r = -0.342, p = 0.041), but not among controls alone (r = -0.179, p = 0.185); the slopes did not differ significantly between MA users and controls (p = 0.5). Conclusions: These results provide the first direct evidence of a link between deficient D2/D3 receptor availability and steep temporal discounting. This finding fits with reports that low striatal D2/D3 receptor availability is associated with a higher risk of relapse among stimulant users, and may help to explain why some individuals choose to continue using drugs despite knowledge of their eventual negative consequences. Future research directions and therapeutic implications are discussed. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2015; 18(7). DOI:10.1093/ijnp/pyu119 · 5.26 Impact Factor