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: 2.06). 04/2006; 397(1-2):130-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2005.12.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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