Reduced punishment sensitivity in neural systems of behavior monitoring in impulsive individuals

Rice University, Department of Psychology, MS-25, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA.
Neuroscience Letters (Impact Factor: 2.03). 04/2006; 397(1-2):130-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2005.12.003
Source: PubMed


This study measured the response-locked event-related potential during a flanker task with performance-based monetarily rewarding and punishing trials in 37 undergraduate students separated into high- and low-impulsive groups based on a median split on self-reported Barrett Impulsiveness Scale. The high-impulsive group had a smaller medial frontal error-related negativity (ERN) on punishment trials than the low-impulsive group. The medial prefrontal neural system of behavior monitoring, indexed by the ERN, appears less sensitive to punishment signals in normal impulsivity. This reduced punishment sensitivity in impulsivity, a personality variation associated with several mental and personality disorders including ADHD and substance abuse may be related to the tendency to select short-term rewards despite potential long-term negative consequences in these individuals.

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    • "In line with previous results (Martin & Potts, 2009; Potts et al., 2006), our main hypothesis was that HI participants would show an overall decreased Ne amplitude as compared to LI participants. Based on the premise that our manipulation of task difficulty induces more effortful control to be allocated in order to maintain performance, we assumed that the amplitude of Ne would increase with task difficulty level in the LI group because of increased self-monitoring imposed by task requirements, whereas HI participants would not show such effect. "
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    ABSTRACT: High impulsive individuals have problems with self-monitoring and learning from their mistakes. The aim of this study was to investigate whether error processing is impaired in high trait impulsivity, and how it is modulated by the task difficulty. Adults were classified as high (n = 10) and low (n = 10) impulsive participants based on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and they participated in a modified flanker task. The flanker trials had three levels of task difficulty manipulated by visual degradation of the stimuli. We measured RTs and ERP components (Ne, Pe) related to erroneous responses. Low impulsive participants responded significantly faster than high impulsive participants. The two groups did not differ in accuracy. The Ne amplitude was smaller in high than in low impulsivity in case of medium and high difficulty levels, but not at low difficulty level. However, the groups did not differ either in the amplitude or in the latency of Pe. We suggest that trait impulsivity is characterized by impaired error detection.
    Journal of Psychophysiology 01/2015; 29(2):64-72. DOI:10.1027/0269-8803/a000135 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    • "Boes et al. (2009) add further evidence in a study demonstrating that the size of the VMPFC varied in boys who differed in rated motor impulsivity and non-planning behavior. As well, Potts et al. (2006) provide evidence that impulsive behavior is associated with reduced punishment sensitivity and a lack of control. "
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    ABSTRACT: With the emergence of new technologies, in particular the Internet, the opportunity for impulsive purchases have expanded enormously. In this research-in-progress, we report the current status of an fMRI-project in which we investigated differences between neural processes in the brains of impulsive and non-impulsive shoppers during the trustworthiness evaluation of online offers. Both our behavioral and fMRI data provide evidence that the impulsiveness of individuals can exert significant influence on the evaluation of online offers, and can potentially affect subsequent purchase behavior. We show that impulsive individuals evaluate trustworthy and untrustworthy offers differently than do non-impulsive individuals. With respect to brain activation, both experimental groups (i.e., impulsive, non-impulsive) exhibit similar neural activation tendencies, but differences exist in the Magnitude of activation Patterns in brain regions that are closely related to trust and decision making, such as the DLPFC, the insula cortex, and the caudate nucleus.
    International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS); 12/2014
    • "In a similar vein, reduced ERN amplitudes may not necessarily reflect increased efficiency in processing or decreased awareness of conflict. Decreased ERN amplitudes are associated with high levels of impulsivity (Potts et al., 2006; Ruchsow et al., 2005) that may reduce appropriate alterations in stimulus and/or target processing. In addition, males display increased ERN amplitudes relative to females and may require greater conflict activation for similar performance, suggesting that males may be less efficient at monitoring conflict than females (Larson et al., 2011b). "
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive control theory suggests goal-directed behavior is governed by a dynamic interplay between areas of the prefrontal cortex. Critical to cognitive control is the detection and resolution of competing stimulus or response representations (i.e., conflict). Event-related potential (ERP) research provides a window into the nature and precise temporal sequence of conflict monitoring. We critically review the research on conflict-related ERPs, including the error-related negativity (ERN), Flanker N2, Stroop N450 and conflict slow potential (conflict SP or negative slow wave [NSW]), and provide an analysis of how these ERPs inform conflict monitoring theory. Overall, there is considerable evidence that amplitude of the ERN is sensitive to the degree of response conflict, consistent with a role in conflict monitoring. It remains unclear, however, to what degree contextual, individual, affective, and motivational factors influence ERN amplitudes and how ERN amplitudes are related to regulative changes in behavior. The Flanker N2, Stroop N450, and conflict SP ERPs represent distinct conflict-monitoring processes that reflect conflict detection (N2, N450) and conflict adjustment or resolution processes (N2, conflict SP). The investigation of conflict adaptation effects (i.e., sequence or sequential trial effects) shows the N2 and conflict SP reflect post-conflict adjustments in cognitive control, but the N450 generally does not. Conflict-related ERP research provides a promising avenue for understanding the effects of individual differences on cognitive control processes in healthy, neurologic and psychiatric populations. Comparisons between the major conflict-related ERPs and suggestions for future studies to clarify the nature of conflict-related neural processes are provided.
    International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology 06/2014; 93(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.06.007 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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