Article

On feeling in control: a biological theory for individual differences in control perception

University of Antwerp, Department of Business Economics, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium.
Brain and Cognition (Impact Factor: 2.68). 12/2006; 62(2):143-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2006.04.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This review aims to create a cross-disciplinary framework for understanding the perception of control. Although, the personality trait locus of control, the most common measure of control perception, has traditionally been regarded as a product of social learning, it may have biological antecedents as well. It is suggested that control perception follows from the brain's capacity for self regulation, leading to flexible and goal directed behaviours. To this account, a model is presented which spans several levels of analyses. On a behavioural level, control perception may be a corollary of emotion regulation, executive functions, and social cognition. On a neural level, these self-regulatory functions are substantiated in part by the dorsolateral and ventral prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex. In addition, a possible role of subcortical-cortical dopamine pathways underlying control perception is discussed.

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    • "Using a rodent version of a slot machine, amphetamine and the dopamine D2 agonist quinpirole increased erroneous lever presses on a game with near-misses (2 of 3 identical symbols ) (Winstanley et al., 2011). Dopamine is also implicated in perceptions of control (Declerck et al., 2006; Redgrave and Gurney, 2006); for example, levodopa increased the sense of agency ( " action-effect binding " ) on a timing task in patients with Parkinson's Disease (Moore et al., 2010). As such, we predicted that the low dose of haloperidol would potentiate subjective and physiological responses to win and near-miss outcomes, and "
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    • "One might speculate that these subjects are more prone to a manipulation that explicitly induces an internal attribution like the high effort condition in our study. More generally, this personality trait is related to reduced cognitive control of emotions and to an increased sensitivity for punishment (Declerck et al., 2006). Therefore, the increased insular effect in externally attributing subjects could reflect a higher sensitivity of an aversive event, i.e. the loss of effortfully earned money. "
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    • "Based on evidence that LOC scores reflect tonic frontal DA transmission (Declerck et al., 2006) and that acute elevation of DA may reduce delay discounting (de Wit et al., 2002; Wade et al., 2000), we reasoned that NTX may alter impulsive choice by altering the level of tonic DA transmission in the frontal cortex (Herz, 1995; Margolis et al., 2006; Spanagel et al., 1992). It is important to point out that NTX is an antagonist at both mu and kappa opioid receptors, albeit with approximately 2.5-fold greater affinity for mu-opioid receptors (Emmerson et al., 1994). "
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