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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    ABSTRACT: Gambling is characterized by cognitive distortions in the processing of chance and skill that are exacerbated in pathological gambling. Opioid and dopamine dysregulation is implicated in pathological gambling, but it is unclear whether these neurotransmitters modulate gambling distortions. The objective of the current study was to assess the effects of the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone and the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist haloperidol on gambling behavior. Male recreational gamblers (n = 62) were assigned to receive single oral doses of naltrexone 50 mg, haloperidol 2 mg or placebo, in a parallel-groups design. At 2.5 h post-dosing, participants completed a slot machine task to elicit monetary wins, "near-misses," and a manipulation of personal choice, and a roulette game to elicit two biases in sequential processing, the gambler's fallacy and the hot hand belief. Psychophysiological responses (electrodermal activity and heart rate) were taken during the slot machine task, and plasma prolactin increase was assessed. The tasks successfully induced the gambling effects of interest. Some of these effects differed across treatment groups, although the direction of effect was not in line with our predictions. Differences were driven by the naltrexone group, which displayed a greater physiological response to wins, and marginally higher confidence ratings on winning streaks. Prolactin levels increased in the naltrexone group, but did not differ between haloperidol and placebo, implying that naltrexone but not haloperidol may have been functionally active at these doses. Our results support opioid modulation of cognition during gambling-like tasks, but did not support the more specific hypothesis that naltrexone may act to ameliorate cognitive distortions.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10/2013; 7:138. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00138 · 4.16 Impact Factor
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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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    ABSTRACT: It is ecologically adaptive that the amount of effort invested to achieve a reward increases the relevance of the resulting outcome. Here, we investigated the effect of effort on activity in reward and loss processing brain areas by using functional magnetic resonance imaging. 28 subjects were endowed with monetary rewards of randomly varying magnitude after performing arithmetic calculations that were either difficult (high effort), easy (low effort) or already solved (no effort). Subsequently, a forced donation took place, where a varying part of the endowment was transferred to a charity organization, causing a loss for the subject. Results show that reward magnitude positively modulates activity in reward-processing brain areas (subgenual anterior cingulate cortex and nucleus accumbens) only in the high effort condition. Furthermore, anterior insular activity was positively modulated by loss magnitude only after high effort. The results strongly suggest an increasing relevance of outcomes with increasing previous effort.
    Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 01/2013; DOI:10.1093/scan/nss147 · 5.88 Impact Factor
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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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    ABSTRACT: Naltrexone (NTX) is an opioid antagonist indicated for the treatment of alcoholism, which is not universally effective. Thus, identifying individual predictors of NTX's behavioral effects is critical to optimizing its therapeutic use. Moreover, given the high rate of relapse during treatment for alcoholism, understanding NTX's behavioral effects when combined with moderate ethanol intake is important. Our previous study of abstinent alcoholics and control subjects showed that a more internal Locus of Control score predicted increased impulsive choice on NTX (Mitchell et al., 2007, Neuropsychopharmacology 32:439-449). Here, we tested whether this predictive relationship remains in the context of moderate alcohol intake. In this study, we tested the effect of acute NTX (50 mg) on impulsive choice, motor inhibition, and attentional bias after ingestion of moderate ethanol (∼0.3 g/kg, n = 30 subjects). Subjects included those recruited from a pool of ∼1,200 UC Berkeley undergraduates on the basis of scores on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS). Impulsive choice was positively correlated with breath alcohol concentration in placebo sessions. Locus of Control was again the sole predictor of NTX's effect on decision making among subjects with a family history of alcoholism. We also found a weak interaction between BIS scores and NTX's effect on impulsive choice. Our results reinforce the predictive relationship between Locus of Control and NTX's effect on decision making in those with a family history of alcoholism, suggesting a possible biological basis to this relationship.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 05/2011; 35(11):1905-14. DOI:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01535.x · 3.31 Impact Factor
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