Laboratory measures of aggression and impulsivity in women with Borderline Personality Disorder

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Harris County Psychiatric Center, University of Texas, Houston 77030, USA.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.47). 04/1999; 85(3):315-26. DOI: 10.1016/S0165-1781(99)00011-6
Source: PubMed


To characterize how severe negative affect in women is reflected in objective measures of aggression and impulsivity, the aggressive and impulsive behavior of 14 hospitalized women with borderline personality disorder (BPD) was compared with that of 17 controls. In an impulsivity task, subjects experienced two sets of 50 trials during which they could choose a smaller, immediate monetary reward or a larger but progressively delayed reward. In a separate task (PSAP), subjects earned monetary reinforcers with repeated button presses, and were provoked by the subtraction of money which was blamed on a fictitious other participant. Subjects could respond by ostensibly subtracting money from the fictitious subject (the aggressive response). While selection frequency of the short-delay responses was similar in patients and controls, BPD patients responded to avoid longer delay of reward across trials, and had higher Barratt Impulsiveness Scale total scores and attentional subscale scores. BPD patients responded to the money losses with roughly three times as many aggressive responses as controls and had higher Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI), Brown History of Violence, and Retrospective Overt Aggression Scale scores than controls. Aggressive responding rates correlated positively with BDHI scores. These results extend previous findings that negative affect in women is reflected in laboratory behavioral measures.

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Available from: James Bjork, Feb 20, 2015
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    • "More recently, researchers have taken an interest in comparing discounting behavior in groups who exhibit symptoms of a given psychiatric disorder and those who do not. These studies have found evidence for steeper discounting amongst patients with symptoms of schizophrenia (Heerey et al., 2007, 2011; Ahn et al., 2011; MacKillop and Tidey, 2011; Wing et al., 2012; Avsar et al., 2013; Weller et al., 2014), depression (Takahashi et al., 2008; Dennhardt and Murphy, 2011; Dombrovski et al., 2012; Imhoff et al., 2014; Pulcu et al., 2014), mania (Mason et al., 2012), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Barkley et al., 2001; Tripp and Alsop, 2001; Bitsakou et al., 2009; Paloyelis et al., 2010a,b; Scheres et al., 2010; Scheres and Hamaker, 2010), anxiety disorder (Rounds et al., 2007) and cluster B personality disorder (Dougherty et al., 1999; Moeller et al., 2002; Petry, 2002; Dom et al., 2006a,b; Lawrence et al., 2010; Coffey et al., 2011). This line of enquiry is not without theoretical justification, for example the broader construct of impulsivity, defined as taking action without forethought or regard for consequences (Moeller et al., 2001), of which discounting is an element, is a defining feature of some psychiatric disorders, for example borderline personality disorder (Moeller et al., 2001; DSM V, 2013) and mania (Swann, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Impatience for reward is a facet of many psychiatric disorders. We draw attention to a growing literature finding greater discounting of delayed reward, an important aspect of impatience, across a range of psychiatric disorders. We propose these findings are best understood by considering the goals and motivation for discounting future reward. We characterise these as arising from either the opportunity costs of waiting or the uncertainty associated with delayed reward. We link specific instances of higher discounting in psychiatric disorder to heightened subjective estimates of either of these factors. We propose these costs are learned and represented based either on a flexible cognitive model of the world, or an accumulation of previous experience, or through evolutionary specification. Any of these can be considered suboptimal for the individual if the resulting behaviour results in impairments in personal and social functioning and/or in distress. By considering the neurochemical and neuroanatomical implementation of these processes, we illustrate how this approach can in principle unite social, psychological and biological conceptions of impulsive choice.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Frontiers in Psychology
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    • "), and suicidal behavior (Patros et al., 2013). Impulsivity is a multidimensional construct that can be assessed by examining the speed/accuracy of responses to stimuli (i.e., motor impulsivity;Dougherty, Bjork, Huckabee, Moeller, & Swann, 1999) or the ability/inability to delay immediate gratification to obtain a more optimal outcome (Madden & Bickel, 2010;Swann, Bjork, Moeller, & Dougherty, 2002). While numerous experimental measures have been designed to assess ADHD-related motor-impulsivity (e.g., stop-signal tasks, continuous processing tasks, go/no-go tasks), the examination of impulsive decisionmaking by children with ADHD has been limited to one paradigm. "
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    ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by an impaired ability to maintain attention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity. Impulsivity is frequently defined as the preference for small, immediate rewards over larger, delayed rewards, and has been associated with a variety of negative outcomes such as risky behavior and academic difficulty. Extant studies have uniformly utilized the traditional paradigm of presenting two response choices, which limits the generalization of findings to scenarios in which children/adolescents are faced with dichotomous decisions. The current study is the first to examine the effect of manipulating the number of available response options on impulsive decision-making in boys with and without ADHD. A total of 39 boys (ADHD = 16, typically developing [TD] = 23) aged 8-12 years completed a traditional two-choice impulsivity task and a novel five-choice impulsivity task to examine the effect of manipulating the number of choice responses (two vs five) on impulsive decision-making. A five-choice task was utilized as it presents a more continuous array of choice options when compared to the typical two-choice task, and is comparable given its methodological similarity to the two-choice task. Results suggested that boys with ADHD were significantly more impulsive than TD boys during the two-choice task, but not during the five-choice task. Collectively, these findings suggest that ADHD-related impulsivity is not ubiquitous, but rather dependent on variation in demands and/or context. Further, these findings highlight the importance of examining ADHD-related decision-making within the context of alternative paradigms, as the exclusive utilization of two-choice tasks may promote inaccurate conceptualizations of the disorder.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Child Neuropsychology
    • "A lack of impulse control could be a risk factor for drug addiction [2], criminal involvement [3], and suicide [4] [5]. Moreover, disrupted impulse control has been observed in psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [6] [7], antisocial or borderline personality disorders [8] [9], and bipolar disorder [10] [11]. Thus, elucidating the neural basis of impulse control would be an important contribution to modern society. "
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    ABSTRACT: Poor impulse control is a debilitating condition observed in various psychiatric disorders and could be a risk factor for drug addiction, criminal involvement, and suicide. The rat infralimbic cortex (IL), located in the ventral portion of the medial prefrontal cortex, has been implicated in impulse control. To elucidate the neurophysiological basis of impulse control, we recorded single unit activity in the IL of a rat performing a 3-choiceserial reaction time task (3-CSRTT) and 2-choice task (2-CT), which are animal models for impulsivity. The inactivation of IL neuronal activity with an injection of muscimol (0.1μg /side) disrupted impulse control in the 3-CSRTT. More than 60% (38/56) of isolated IL units were linked to impulse control, while approximately 30% of all units were linked to attentional function in the 3-CSRTT. To avoid confounding motor-related units with the impulse control-related units, we further conducted the 2-CT in which the animals' motor activities were restricted during recording window. More than 30% (14/44) of recorded IL units were linked to impulse control in the 2-CT. Several types of impulse control-related units were identified. Only 16% of all units were compatible with the results of the muscimol experiment, which showed a transient decline in the firing rate immediately before the release of behavioral inhibition. This is the first study to elucidate the neurophysiological basis of impulse control in the IL and to propose that IL neurons control impulsive actions in a more complex manner than previously considered.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Behavioural brain research
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