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... DD refers to the tendency to choose smaller, immediate rewards over larger, postponed rewards and has emerged as a key risk factor for various health problems (Bickel et al. 2010;Kahn et al. 2015;Jackson and MacKillop 2016;MacKillop et al. 2011;Reynolds 2006). Additional writing has suggested that DD may serve as a transdisease process for addictive behaviors and other forms of psychopathology (Bickel et al. 2012) or as an endophenotype pertinent to the genetics of addiction and other conditions characterized by deficits in self-regulation (Bickel 2015;MacKillop 2013). Given the centrality of DD to numerous health-risk behaviors, understanding its social and neurocognitive antecedents has broad implications for the etiology and prevention of risk behaviors, particularly among rural African Americans. ...
... In research investigating the underlying neural circuitry associated with DD, the cognitive control network has received substantial attention in recent years. The frontostriatal circuit is a central component of this network (van den Van den Bos et al. 2014;2015), particularly between the right anterior caudate (aC) and the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). In a recent meta-analysis on regional specialization in the human striatum, Pauli et al. (2016) noted that the aC is involved in evaluating the value of potential actions and initiating approaches to acquiring reinforcers. ...
... The dlPFC has been identified as a key region in the cognitive control network and has been shown to be involved in the completion of numerous cognitive control tasks such as flanker, Stroop, and go/no go tasks (Yeo et al. 2015). Specifically, van den Bos and colleagues (van den Van den Bos et al. 2014;2015) found, on one hand, that greater (i.e., more positive) structural connectivity tract strength was associated with less impulsive decision making. On the other hand, functional connectivity analyses indicated that, during a DD task, greater negative functional coupling between areas of the frontal lobe and striatum was associated with less impulsive responding. ...
Article
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Prior research has demonstrated the importance of delay discounting in adverse health behaviors, such as addiction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, risk taking, and obesity. Nevertheless, the functional connectivity of neural circuitry associated with delay discounting and the ways in which the social environment may influence frontostriatal connectivity remain largely unknown, particularly in African Americans. Building on recent literature implicating frontostriatal connectivity during active delay discounting decision making and at rest, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the association between delay discounting and frontostriatal resting state connectivity (rsFC). We also examined the capacity of social relationships with parents and peers to longitudinally predict frontostriatal rsFC. The study cohort was composed of 91 rural African American emerging adults followed over a 6-year period. Greater (i.e., more positive) frontostriatal rsFC was associated with decreased delay discounting (i.e., less impulsive decision making). In addition, peer relationships at ages 20 and 21 significantly predicted frontostriatal rsFC at age 25 above and beyond parental influence. A significant indirect effect of peer affiliation on delay discounting through frontostriatal rsFC also emerged. These results indicate a role of frontostriatal connectivity in delay discounting decision making and highlight peers’ unique influence on decision making behaviors through frontostriatal rsFC during emerging adulthood.
... The main behavioral model of decision impulsivity is temporal discounting (TD; Bickel, 2015). It is typically characterized using a TD task, which assesses individuals' choices between different magnitudes of reward available at different delays (Frederick et al., 2002). ...
... It is typically characterized using a TD task, which assesses individuals' choices between different magnitudes of reward available at different delays (Frederick et al., 2002). The rate of discounting (i.e., the rate of devaluation of reward per unit of time) has been shown to be relatively stable and heritable (Anokhin et al., 2015;Bickel, 2015), and has recently been proposed as an endophenotype (Bickel, 2015). Higher discount rates are apparent in multiple psychopathologies such as substance abuse, problem gambling, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, schizophrenia, depression and obesity (Bickel et al., 2012). ...
... It is typically characterized using a TD task, which assesses individuals' choices between different magnitudes of reward available at different delays (Frederick et al., 2002). The rate of discounting (i.e., the rate of devaluation of reward per unit of time) has been shown to be relatively stable and heritable (Anokhin et al., 2015;Bickel, 2015), and has recently been proposed as an endophenotype (Bickel, 2015). Higher discount rates are apparent in multiple psychopathologies such as substance abuse, problem gambling, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, schizophrenia, depression and obesity (Bickel et al., 2012). ...
Article
Cardiac signals reflect the function of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and have previously been associated with a range of self-regulatory behaviors such as emotion regulation and memory recall. It is unknown whether cardiac signals may also be associated with self-regulation in the temporal domain, in particular impulsivity. We assessed both decision impulsivity (temporal discounting, TD) and time perception impulsivity (duration reproduction, DR) in 120 participants while they underwent electrocardiography in order to test whether cardiac signals were related to these two aspects of impulsivity. We found that over the entire period of task performance, individuals with higher heart rates had a tendency toward lower discount rates, supporting previous research that has associated sympathetic responses with decreased impulsivity. We also found that low-frequency components of heart rate variability (HRV) were associated with a less accurate perception of time, suggesting that time perception may be modulated by ANS function. Overall, these findings constitute preliminary evidence that autonomic function plays an important role in both decision impulsivity and time perception.
... Clinical Psychology Review xxx (xxxx) xxx-xxx as constraints on access to alcohol (i.e., alcohol availability and price) and other activities that might generate reward and maintain consistent patterns of behavior (e.g., employment, exercise, education, social relationships, hobbies). Choice between alcohol and alternatives is assumed to be influenced by the temporal window of reward receipt for the choices available in an individual's environment (Bickel, 2015). Whereas alcohol provides a reliable, immediate reward with minimal response cost, alternatives to alcohol often require sustained effort over time and are associated with delayed rewards (e.g., salutary social, vocational, and health outcomes). ...
... A number of studies have established that although the value of all rewards decreases as their receipt is delayed, there are substantial individual differences in the degree that delayed rewards are discounted, and this discounting phenomenon may be a core feature of substance abuse (Bickel, 2015). Whereas substance use generally provides immediate reinforcement (e.g. ...
... discrete acts) can reduce impulsive responses (Loewenstein & Prelec, 1993); one could imagine interventions that seek to target them. Additionally, focused thinking/writing about potential positive future events (Episodic Future Thinking) has been found to reduce delay discounting and alcohol demand in laboratory studies (Bickel, 2015), but this has not been tested as an intervention for alcohol misuse and AUD. ...
Article
There is a tremendous global and national (US) burden associated with alcohol misuse and alcohol use disorder (AUD). Further, of the mental health disorders, AUD has the widest treatment gap. Thus, there is a critical need for improved understanding of the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of AUD. The application of cognitive science to the study of AUD has a longstanding history of attempting to meet this need. In this selective review, we identified and focused on four domains of recent (i.e., in the last decade) applications of cognitive science to the study of AUD: implicit cognitive biases, executive function, behavioral economic approaches to alcohol decision making, and functional connectivity neuroimaging. We highlighted advances within these four domains and considered them in the context of dual process models of addiction, which focus on the contribution and interplay of two complementary neurocognitive systems (impulsive and control systems). Findings across the domains were generally consistent with dual process models. They also suggest the need for further model refinements, including integrating behavioral economic approaches and findings from functional connectivity neuroimaging studies. Research evaluating candidate interventions associated with these domains is emergent but promising, suggesting important directions for future research.
... Individual differences in temporal discounting are also associated with numerous health-related outcomes. For example, higher rates of temporal discounting have been shown to be related to a reduced likelihood to check blood pressure, obtain cholesterol testing, attend dental visits, exercise, receive flu shots, engage in safe sexual behavior, and be medically adherent (Bickel, 2015). Higher rates of discounting have also been demonstrated in relation to psychiatric disorders including substance dependence disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, problem gambling, and obesity (Amlung et al., 2019). ...
... Regarding non-health-related behaviors and outcomes, people who discount to a greater degree spend less time searching for a good job (DellaVigna and Paserman, 2005), experience more shallow wage growth (Munasinghe and Sicherman, 2006), take up welfare programs later (Fang and Silverman, 2006), have lower credit scores (Meier and Sprenger, 2012), borrow more on credit cards (Meier and Sprenger, 2010), are more likely to default on their loans (Meier and Sprenger, 2012), are less likely to wear a seat belt (Bickel, 2015), and are more likely to text while driving (Hayashi et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Intertemporal choice involves deciding between smaller, sooner and larger, later rewards. People tend to prefer smaller rewards that are available earlier to larger rewards available later, a phenomenon referred to as temporal or delay discounting. Despite its ubiquity in human and non-human animals, temporal discounting is subject to considerable individual differences. Here, we provide a critical narrative review of this literature and make suggestions for future work. We conclude that temporal discounting is associated with key socio-economic and health-related variables. Regarding personality, large-scale studies have found steeper temporal discounting to be associated with higher levels of self-reported impulsivity and extraversion; however, effect sizes are small. Temporal discounting correlates negatively with future-oriented cognitive styles and inhibitory control, again with small effect sizes. There are consistent associations between steeper temporal discounting and lower intelligence, with effect sizes exceeding those of personality or cognitive variables, although socio-demographic moderator variables may play a role. Neuroimaging evidence of brain structural and functional correlates is not yet consistent, neither with regard to areas nor directions of effects. Finally, following early candidate gene studies, recent Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) approaches have revealed the molecular genetic architecture of temporal discounting to be more complex than initially thought. Overall, the study of individual differences in temporal discounting is a maturing field that has produced some replicable findings. Effect sizes are small-to-medium, necessitating future hypothesis-driven work that prioritizes large samples with adequate power calculations. More research is also needed regarding the neural origins of individual differences in temporal discounting as well as the mediating neural mechanisms of associations of temporal discounting with personality and cognitive variables.
... For example, urgency (i.e., acting impulsively during negative emotional states) has been associated with substance related problems whereas sensation seeking has been associated with frequency of substance use (Castellanos-Ryan and Conrod, 2011;Cyders et al., 2009;Smith et al., 2007). Further, mounting evidence indicates that some dimensions of impulsivity may be potential endophenotypes for drug addiction (Kreek et al., 2005) and meet endophenotype criteria (Bickel, 2015;MacKillop, 2013); however, the relative predictive utility of these dimensions as putative endophenotypes for drug addiction remains unknown. Given the multidimensional nature of impulsivity, multivariate impulsivity endophenotypes that exploit the relationship between multiple impulsivity phenotypes may increase power to detect common and unique effects of opiate and stimulant addictions. ...
... across two different samples (active and former users), in two different countries (USA and Bulgaria), and with two different types of stimulants (cocaine and amphetamines). This suggests that delay discounting may be a viable endophenotype for stimulant (but not opiate) addiction (Bickel, 2015;MacKillop, 2013). ...
Article
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Background: Recent animal and human studies reveal distinct cognitive and neurobiological differences between opiate and stimulant addictions; however, our understanding of the common and specific effects of these two classes of drugs remains limited due to the high rates of polysubstance-dependence among drug users. Methods: The goal of the current study was to identify multivariate substance-specific markers classifying heroin dependence (HD) and amphetamine dependence (AD), by using machine-learning approaches. Participants included 39 amphetamine mono-dependent, 44 heroin mono-dependent, 58 polysubstance dependent, and 81 non-substance dependent individuals. The majority of substance dependent participants were in protracted abstinence. We used demographic, personality (trait impulsivity, trait psychopathy, aggression, sensation seeking), psychiatric (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, anxiety, depression), and neurocognitive impulsivity measures (Delay Discounting, Go/No-Go, Stop Signal, Immediate Memory, Balloon Analogue Risk, Cambridge Gambling, and Iowa Gambling tasks) as predictors in a machine-learning algorithm. Results: The machine-learning approach revealed substance-specific multivariate profiles that classified HD and AD in new samples with high degree of accuracy. Out of 54 predictors, psychopathy was the only classifier common to both types of addiction. Important dissociations emerged between factors classifying HD and AD, which often showed opposite patterns among individuals with HD and AD. Conclusions: These results suggest that different mechanisms may underlie HD and AD, challenging the unitary account of drug addiction. This line of work may shed light on the development of standardized and cost-efficient clinical diagnostic tests and facilitate the development of individualized prevention and intervention programs for HD and AD.
... Indeed, individual differences in rates of discounting future rewards is associated with numerous negative health behaviors, and associated conditions including almost every form of drug dependence Bickel et al., 2014b;Yi et al., 2010), overweight and obesity (Bickel et al., 2014c;Epstein et al., 2010;Privitera et al., 2015;Weller et al., 2008), problem gambling (Alessi & Petry, 2003;Andrade & Petry, 2012;Reynolds, 2006), risky sexual practices (Chesson, 2012;Meade et al., 2011), and health disparities (Bickel & Marsch, 2001;Bickel et al., 2014a). Indeed, the broad generality of excessive delay discounting across health behaviors and associated conditions is the basis for its designation as a transdisease process (Bickel et al., 2012a) and proposals that excessive discounting may represent an endophenotype of negative health behaviors (e.g., Bickel, 2015). Other studies have shown that pretreatment discounting rates can be predictive of therapeutic outcomes (Sheffer et al., 2014;Sheffer et al., 2012). ...
... Indeed, the pattern of excessive discounting across these health-defeating behaviors provides evidence that the process of delay discounting is a trans-disease process (Bickel et al., 2012a). More recent evidence suggests that it is a behavioral marker of pathology (Bickel et al., 2014b) and may also be an endophenotype of addiction (Bickel, 2015) and other healthcompromising behaviors. ...
Article
Health-related behaviors such as tobacco, alcohol and other substance use, poor diet and physical inactivity, and risky sexual practices are important targets for research and intervention. Health-related behaviors are especially pertinent targets in the United States, which lags behind most other developed nations on common markers of population health. In this essay we examine the application of behavioral economics, a scientific discipline that represents the intersection of economics and psychology, to the study and promotion of health-related behavior change. More specifically, we review what we consider to be some core dimensions of this discipline when applied to the study health-related behavior change. Behavioral economics (1) provides novel conceptual systems to inform scientific understanding of health behaviors, (2) translates scientific understanding into practical and effective behavior-change interventions, (3) leverages varied aspects of behavior change beyond increases or decreases in frequency, (4) recognizes and exploits trans-disease processes and interventions, and (5) leverages technology in efforts to maximize efficacy, cost effectiveness, and reach. These dimensions are overviewed and their implications for the future of the field discussed.
... Impulsivity is a broad, but heavily studied construct in psychology, economics and psychiatry [51], and relates to a wide range of psychiatric disorders [52]. An individual's temporal persistence-as measured by this paradigm-may rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org Proc. ...
... preference reversals [3]). The dominant behavioural model of impulsivity is intertemporal choice, which has been shown to be a relatively stable and heritable trait [52]. However, when used in laboratory experiments, intertemporal choice rarely engenders actual temporal opportunity costs, as individuals are not required to forgo alternatives while waiting for delayed rewards. ...
Article
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Temporal persistence refers to an individual's capacity to wait for future rewards, while forgoing possible alternatives. This requires a trade-off between the potential value of delayed rewards and opportunity costs, and is relevant to many real-world decisions, such as dieting. Theoretical models have previously suggested that high monetary reward rates, or positive energy balance, may result in decreased temporal persistence. In our study, 50 fasted participants engaged in a temporal persistence task, incentivised with monetary rewards. In alternating blocks of this task, rewards were delivered at delays drawn randomly from distributions with either a lower or higher maximum reward rate. During some blocks participants received either a caloric drink or water. We used survival analysis to estimate participants' probability of quitting conditional on the delay distribution and the consumed liquid. Participants had a higher probability of quitting in blocks with the higher reward rate. Furthermore, participants who consumed the caloric drink had a higher probability of quitting than those who consumed water. Our results support the predictions from the theoretical models, and importantly, suggest that both higher monetary reward rates and physiologically relevant rewards can decrease temporal persistence, which is a crucial determinant for survival in many species.
... Recognizing the highly heritable nature of addiction vulnerability, many studies have investigated the extent to which personality and neurocognitive dimensions of impulsivity might represent putative endophenotypes for addiction. From the multiple neurocognitive dimensions of impulsivity, delay discounting has received the strongest support as a candidate endophenotype for SUDs [120,141], though it is also a candidate marker for a number of externalizing disorders [80,120] and general psychopathology [12]. The first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of delay discounting [142] revealed that the most significant association was with a gene implicated in the internalization of the serotonin transporter. ...
... Neurocognitive measures of impulsivity might be more suitable than trait measures for use in tracking treatment effects and outcomes, owing to their state-dependent nature. For example, excessive delay discounting predicts initiation of drug use, improves with treatment, and returns within the normal range with abstinence [141]. ...
Article
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Impulse control is becoming a critical survival skill for the twenty-first century. Impulsivity is implicated in virtually all externalizing behaviours and disorders, and figures prominently in the aetiology and long-term sequelae of substance use disorders (SUDs). Despite its robust clinical and predictive validity, the study of impulsivity is complicated by its multidimensional nature, characterized by a variety of trait-like personality dimensions, as well as by more state-dependent neurocognitive dimensions, with variable convergence across measures. This review provides a hierarchical framework for linking self-report and neurocognitive measures to latent constructs of impulsivity and, in turn, to different psychopathology vulnerabilities, including substance-specific addictions and comorbidities. Impulsivity dimensions are presented as novel behavioural targets for prevention and intervention. Novel treatment approaches addressing domains of impulsivity are reviewed and recommendations for future directions in research and clinical interventions for SUDs are offered. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Risk taking and impulsive behaviour: fundamental discoveries, theoretical perspectives and clinical implications’.
... Mais il est alors important de travailler en parallèle sur la valeur accordée à la récompense différée (bons d'achats, gains de santé) par rapport à la récompense immédiate attendue ou espérée liée à l'usage d'alcool (Adams et al., 2017;Bickel, 2015;Loewenstein & Prelec, 1993;Odum et al., 2002). La réalité virtuelle, déjà en place dans le service d'Addictologie, pourrait permettre de renforcer le caractère écologique de l'évaluation de l'impulsivité grâce à des expositions en réalité virtuelle de haute-fidélité, mais aussi de l'évaluation du craving. ...
Thesis
Le trouble de l’usage d’alcool (TUAL) est fortement associé à l’impulsivité, un concept multi-déterminé, difficile à circonscrire. Le modèle triadique postule l’existence, dans l’addiction, de trois systèmes cérébraux distincts mais en interaction. Dans ce modèle, l’impulsivité et les émotions, le fonctionnement cognitif et notamment exécutif, ainsi que le craving jouent des rôles clés. Des outils thérapeutiques innovants comme l’activité physique adaptée pourraient cibler l’ensemble de ces dimensions. L’objectif de ce travail de thèse était de mieux comprendre les substrats psychologiques, neuropsychologiques et cérébraux de l’impulsivité dans le TUAL sévère afin de proposer de nouvelles perspectives de prise en soins. Les résultats de ce travail de thèse montrent que dans le TUAL sévère, l'impulsivité évaluée par questionnaires était liée à l’état psychoaffectif des patients plutôt qu’à leur fonctionnement exécutif, et spécifiquement liée à l’intégrité structurelle du système impulsif (noyau accumbens). L’activité physique adaptée a confirmé sa faisabilité et son acceptabilité comme traitement adjuvant chez des patients TUAL sévère hospitalisés, avec une efficacité spécifique sur la réduction de l’anxiété et de l'impulsivité. Dans l'ensemble ces résultats semblent conforter le modèle triadique et incitent à le faire évoluer, notamment en considérant les relations impulsivité-compulsivité. Des pistes sont proposées pour une nouvelle modélisation et opérationnalisation de l’impulsivité dans le TUAL. L’activité physique apparaît prometteuse pour agir sur les déterminants du TUAL comme l’impulsivité.
... All individuals tend to discount the value of delayed reward to some degree (Mazur, 1987;Rachlin, 2000), however, adults with addictive disorders, including alcohol use disorders (AUDs), tend to choose smaller, sooner over larger, delayed reward in the context of intertemporal choice (or "delay-discounting") tasks more frequently than do adults with no addiction history (Vuchinich and Simpson, 1998;Petry, 2001;Mitchell et al., 2005;MacKillop et al., 2011). This immediate reward selection (or "Now") bias persists even after years of abstinence and does not correlate with abstinence duration (Mitchell et al., 2005), suggesting irreversible consequences of chronic alcohol abuse and/or a pre-existing risk trait, or intermediate phenotype (Meyer-Lindenberg and Weinberger, 2006;MacKillop, 2013;Bickel, 2015). This possibility is further supported by data showing that people with other conditions characterized by impulsive behavior also exhibit elevated Now bias, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (Barkley et al., 2001;Sonuga-Barke et al., 2008;Paloyelis et al., 2010), and pathological gambling (Alessi and Petry, 2003;Dixon et al., 2003;MacKillop et al., 2011;Leeman and Potenza, 2012). ...
Article
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Adults with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) show marked immediate reward selection (or “Now”) bias in intertemporal choice tasks. This Now bias persists long into abstinence, suggesting an irreversible consequence of chronic alcohol abuse or a pre-existing AUD intermediate phenotype. However, some data show substantial Now bias among emerging adults (18–25), regardless of drinking behavior, suggesting age-dependent effects on Now bias. The objectives of the present study were to determine (1) whether Now bias is greater among emerging adults relative to adults, (2) whether any such age effect on Now bias is diminished in sub-clinical heavy alcohol users, and (3) whether having a problem drinking first degree relative is independently associated with elevated Now bias. To achieve these objectives, we used an intertemporal choice task to quantify Now bias in n = 237 healthy participants (ages 18–40; 50% female), and a wide range of non-zero alcohol use, based on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). We found that among non-heavy drinkers, Now bias inversely correlated with age; this relationship was not present among heavy drinkers. We found no significant relationship between AUDIT score and Now bias among emerging adults, but AUDIT scores and Now bias were positively correlated among 26–40 year olds. Additionally, non-heavy drinking adults who reported a problem drinking first degree relative showed greater Now bias compared to those not reporting familial problem drinking. While not definitive, these findings lend support for elevated Now bias in adulthood as an intermediate phenotype for AUDs. Moreover, non-additive effects of age and heavy drinking on Now bias suggest perturbations in largely common neural circuits in both groups.
... Indeed, the extant literature indicates that delay discounting in temporally stable, biologically based, and heritable. As such, delay discounting is identified as a behavioral marker and more recently as a candidate endophenotype of addiction and other temporally relavent discorders (Bickel, 2015;Gottesman and Gould, 2003). Importantly, the purpose of endophenotypes is to base diagnoses on phenotypic categorizations that are more stable and heritable than the current diagnostic classification system (MacKillop, 2013). ...
... Behavioral economics research has enhanced our understanding of the role of these conditioning processes-by identifying fundamental biases in how humans make choices that can increase risk of acquiring unhealthy behavior patterns and undermine efforts to change them. In particular, temporal discounting (Bickel, 2015) refers to a bias toward preferring immediate over delayed reinforcement, even when the amount of reward associated with the more immediate option is less valuable (Bickel & Marsch, 2001). Although humans all share this bias, considerable individual differences in the degree of temporal discounting implicate many factors, including younger chronological age, lower educational attainment, and more deprivation. ...
Article
Substantial reductions in U.S. cigarette smoking and associated chronic diseases over the past 50 years have benefited health. Unfortunately, those reductions have distributed unevenly throughout the population. Smoking remains prevalent and even increasing among certain vulnerable populations: economically disadvantaged groups, those with other substance-use disorders or mental illness, certain ethnic and racial minorities, and gender and sexual minorities. Moreover, other unhealthy behavior patterns (physical inactivity, unhealthy food choices, risky sexual behavior, poor adherence to medical preventive regimens) and associated chronic diseases are also overrepresented in many of these same populations. Disparities in unhealthy behavior patterns contribute to health disparities and escalating health care costs, underscoring the need for more effective behavior-change strategies. This report reviews research on the efficacy of financial incentives for reducing smoking in vulnerable populations, while also touching on applications of that behavior-change strategy for promoting other health-related behavior changes in vulnerable populations.
... Moreover, rates of discounting by ex-alcohol dependent individuals (reported a lifetime history of alcohol dependence but were not drunk to intoxication for more than 30 days) and exsmokers (reported abstinence from cigarettes for at least one year, and had smoked at least 20 cigarettes daily for at least 5 years prior to quitting) are intermediate to that of current users and never-users in alcohol dependence (Petry, 2001) and cigarette smoking, (Odum et al., 2002) respectively. Interestingly, in individuals with substance dependence, high delay discounting rates may persist even after years of abstinence (Mitchell et al., 2005), suggesting a possible irreversible effect of substance abuse and/or a pre-existing genetic risk (MacKillop, 2013;Meyer-Lindenberg and Weinberger, 2006;Bickel, 2015). ...
Article
Background: Family history of addiction is a risk factor for substance use disorders. Delay discounting (DD) is associated with the risk of substance use and dependence, and is predictive of the likelihood of successful abstinence and treatment outcomes; thus, we investigated the extent to which having parents with addiction (parental history of addiction) and number of addicted parents affect DD among individuals in recovery from addiction. Methods: Data from 177 individuals in recovery from addiction from The International Quit and Recovery Registry (IQRR), an ongoing online data collection program that aims to understand addiction and how people succeed in recovery, were included in the analysis. Participants with no, one, or two parents with addiction were compared on measures of DD using an adjusting-amount task. Results: Parental history of addiction was significantly associated with delay discounting. After controlling for age and gender, which were significantly different between groups, participants reporting two biological parents with addiction had significantly higher DD rates compared to those reporting one or no parents with addiction. Conclusions: Participants with two parents with addiction had significantly higher rates of discounting compared to those with no or only one parent with addiction. This information can serve as a foundation to better identify and target important subgroups that need additional or non-traditional intervention strategies to address their larger degree of impulsivity and help maintain abstinence or achieve better treatment outcomes.
... The combined classification and cross-validation approach quantifies classification rates at the individual level which is a potentially useful metric to consider alongside traditional statistical comparisons that differentiate group means. These findings are consistent with recent findings supporting delay discounting as a behavioral marker (Bickel et al., 2014) and endophenotype (Bickel, 2015;MacKillop, 2013). ...
Article
Neurocognitive dysfunctions are frequently identified in the addictions. These dysfunctions may indicate either diffuse dysfunction or may represent separate facets that have differential importance to the addiction phenotype. In a sample (n=260) of alcohol and/or stimulant users and controls we measured responses across 7 diverse neurocognitive measures. These measures were Continuous Performance, Delay Discounting, Iowa Gambling, Stroop, Tower, Wisconsin Card Sorting, and Letter Number Sequencing. Comparisons were then made between the drug-dependent groups and controls using analysis of variance and also using a machine learning approach to classify participants based on task performance as substance-dependent or controls in 1 tree and as alcohol and/or stimulant users or controls in a second tree. The analysis of variance showed significant differences between groups on the Delay Discounting (p < .001), Iowa Gambling (p < .001), Letter Number Sequencing (p < .001), and Wisconsin Card Sorting (p < .05) tasks. The first classification tree correctly classified between substance-dependent or controls for 88.3% of participants and classified between alcohol and/or stimulant users or controls for 63.9% of participants. Delay discounting was the first split in both trees and in the substance-dependent and control tree. The analysis of variance results largely replicate previous findings. The machine learning classification tree analysis provides evidence to support the hypothesis that different measures of neurocognitive dysfunction represent different processes. Among them, delay discounting was the most robust in categorizing drug dependence.
... The DDT has been widely studied in healthy populations (e.g., Green & Myerson, 2004;Kable & Glimcher, 2007) and delay discounting has been associated with cognitive abilities such as intelligence (Shamosh et al., 2008) and working memory (Hinson, Jameson, & Whitney, 2003). Steeper delay discounting is a strong behavioral marker for addictive behaviors (Ahn, Ramesh, Moeller, & Vassileva, 2016;Bickel, 2015;Green & Myerson, 2004;MacKillop, 2013) and has also been associated with other psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia (Ahn, Rass, et al., 2011;Heerey, Matveeva, & Gold, 2011;Heerey, Robinson, McMahon, & Gold, 2007) and bipolar disorder (Ahn, Rass, et al., 2011). The hBayesDM package currently contains three different models for the DDT: ...
Article
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Reinforcement learning and decision-making (RLDM) provide a quantitative framework and computational theories with which we can disentangle psychiatric conditions into the basic dimensions of neurocognitive functioning. RLDM offer a novel approach to assessing and potentially diagnosing psychiatric patients, and there is growing enthusiasm for both RLDM and computational psychiatry among clinical researchers. Such a framework can also provide insights into the brain substrates of particular RLDM processes, as exemplified by model-based analysis of data from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or electroencephalography (EEG). However, researchers often find the approach too technical and have difficulty adopting it for their research. Thus, a critical need remains to develop a user-friendly tool for the wide dissemination of computational psychiatric methods. We introduce an R package called hBayesDM (hierarchical Bayesian modeling of Decision-Making tasks), which offers computational modeling of an array of RLDM tasks and social exchange games. The hBayesDM package offers state-of-the-art hierarchical Bayesian modeling, in which both individual and group parameters (i.e., posterior distributions) are estimated simultaneously in a mutually constraining fashion. At the same time, the package is extremely user-friendly: users can perform computational modeling, output visualization, and Bayesian model comparisons, each with a single line of coding. Users can also extract the trial-by-trial latent variables (e.g., prediction errors) required for model-based fMRI/EEG. With the hBayesDM package, we anticipate that anyone with minimal knowledge of programming can take advantage of cutting-edge computational-modeling approaches to investigate the underlying processes of and interactions between multiple decision-making (e.g., goal-directed, habitual, and Pavlovian) systems. In this way, we expect that the hBayesDM package will contribute to the dissemination of advanced modeling approaches and enable a wide range of researchers to easily perform computational psychiatric research within different populations.
... Delay discounting is a useful construct for studying reward valuation partly because it is relatively stable over time. As a result, some consider it an endophenotype for substance use disorders (Bickel, 2015). However, discount rates are also sensitive to within-subject change. ...
Article
The National Institute of Mental Health launched the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative to better understand dimensions of behavior and identify targets for treatment. Examining dimensions across psychiatric illnesses has proven challenging, as reliable behavioral paradigms that are known to engage specific neural circuits and translate across diagnostic populations are scarce. Delay discounting paradigms seem to be an exception: they are useful for understanding links between neural systems and behavior in healthy individuals, with potential for assessing how these mechanisms go awry in psychiatric illnesses. This article reviews relevant literature on delay discounting (or the rate at which the value of a reward decreases as the delay to receipt increases) in humans, including methods for examining it, its putative neural mechanisms, and its application in psychiatric research. There exist rigorous and reproducible paradigms to evaluate delay discounting, standard methods for calculating discount rate, and known neural systems probed by these paradigms. Abnormalities in discounting have been associated with psychopathology ranging from addiction (with steep discount rates indicating relative preference for immediate rewards) to anorexia nervosa (with shallow discount rates indicating preference for future rewards). The latest research suggests that delay discounting can be manipulated in the laboratory. Extensively studied in cognitive neuroscience, delay discounting assesses a dimension of behavior that is important for decision-making and is linked to neural substrates and to psychopathology. The question now is whether manipulating delay discounting can yield clinically significant changes in behavior that promote health. If so, then delay discounting could deliver on the RDoC promise.
... Discounting refers to the reduction in value of a preferred option when it becomes associated with a cost such as delay, uncertainty, or effort (Cardinal et al. 2000;Bickel 2015). In perhaps the simplest version of delay discounting, an incrementally increasing delay is imposed between choice and reward delivery. ...
Article
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This review is concerned with methods for assessing the processing of unrewarded responses in experimental animals and the mechanisms underlying performance of these tasks. A number of clinical populations, including Parkinson’s disease, depression, compulsive disorders, and schizophrenia demonstrate either abnormal processing or learning from non-rewarded responses in laboratory-based reinforcement learning tasks. These effects are hypothesized to result from disturbances in modulatory neurotransmitter systems, including dopamine and serotonin. Parallel work in experimental animals has revealed consistent behavioral patterns associated with non-reward and, consistent with the human literature, modulatory roles for specific neurotransmitters. Classical tests involving an important reward omission component include appetitive extinction, ratio schedules of responding, reversal learning, and delay and probability discounting procedures. In addition, innovative behavioral tests have recently been developed leverage probabilistic feedback to specifically assay accommodation of, and learning from, non-rewarded responses. These procedures will be described and reviewed with discussion of the behavioral and neural determinants of performance. A final section focusses specifically on the benefits of trial-by-trial analysis of responding during such tasks, and the implications of such analyses for the translation of findings to clinical studies.
... It is generally thought that people are fairly stable in their intertemporal preferences [10][11][12], and it has been suggested that they may have a genetic component [13,14]. These preferences have even been proposed as a candidate behavioral marker for psychopathology [15,16]. However, research in the last decade or so has brought to light strategies and manipulations for shifting choices toward being more patient or more impulsive. ...
Article
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Intertemporal choices are ubiquitous: people often have to choose between outcomes realized at different times. Although it is generally believed that people have stable tendencies toward being impulsive or patient, an emerging body of evidence indicates that intertemporal choice is malleable and can be profoundly influenced by context. How the choice is framed, or the state of the decision-maker at the time of choice, can induce a shift in preference. Framing effects are underpinned by allocation of attention to choice attributes, reference dependence, and time construal. Incidental affective states and prospection also influence intertemporal choice. We advocate that intertemporal choice models account for these context effects, and encourage the use of this knowledge to nudge people toward making more advantageous choices.
... Excessive delay discounting (DD), illustrated by a preference for smaller sooner over larger delayed rewards , appears to reflect the imbalance in these two systems and to drive observed robust relations between excessive DD and the use and misuse of various substances (Amlung, Vedelago, Acker, Balodis, & MacKillop, 2017;Bickel et al., 2019;Bickel, Koffarnus, Moody, & Wilson, 2014;McClure, Laibson, Loewenstein, & Cohen, 2004). DD has also been associated with risk for developing a substance use disorder (SUD) and with SUD severity and also has been shown to decrease with effective treatment (Bickel, 2015;Bickel et al., 2014;Sheffer et al., 2012). As such, DD may be an important construct to target when trying to change substance use behavior . ...
Article
Episodic future thinking (EFT), a brief intervention involving mental simulation of positive future events, improves delay discounting (DD) in nicotine and alcohol dependent individuals. This study is the first to assess effects of a single-session, online episodic training (ET) on constructs that might impact cannabis use and cannabis use disorder. A sample of 200 active cannabis users recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk were randomized to an EFT group (n = 102) or an episodic recent thinking control group (ERT; n = 98). A novel episodic specificity induction (ES) was included to enhance quality of episodic thinking for the ET group, and an ES attention control was provided to the ERT group (control training group; CT). Quality and manipulation ratings of event excitement, vividness, importance, and enjoyment of trainings were collected in addition to DD tasks (gains and losses) and readiness to change cannabis use. The ET group reported higher overall quality and manipulation ratings than did the CT group (p < .001, d = 0.79). DD of gains was lower in the ET relative to those of the CT group after controlling for relevant variables (p = .003, d = 0.48), unlike DD of losses (p = .50, d = 0.11). The ET group showed larger pre/post increases in readiness to change, but they were not statistically significant (p = .069, d = 0.26). These effects, following a session of online ET, suggests that ET may positively impact factors related to reduction in cannabis use. Differential effects of EFT and ES components on DD and the development of ET as an adjunctive mHealth intervention targeting reduction in cannabis use appears warranted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... Another framework that could be used to consider this phenomenon in sexual decisionmaking is delay discounting. Delay discounting is the behavioral economics and psychological principle that a reward decreases in value with time delays in the receipt of that reward (Anokhin, Grant, Mulligan, & Heath, 2015;Bickel, 2015;Kirby & Maraković, 1996;Kirby & Petry, 2004). Greater delay discounting is highly positively correlated with impulsivity (Kirby, Petry, & Bickel, 1999), and delay discounting is often considered a behavioral function within the larger construct of impulsivity (Anokhin et al., 2015). ...
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Individuals often have reasons for both wanting and not wanting to engage in sex. In some cases, engaging in sex could be congruent with an individual’s short-term goals (e.g., having fun) but incongruent with the individual’s long-term goals (e.g., avoiding a negative reputation). The salience of these goals may fluctuate across time and context; for example, under some circumstances, individuals might focus only on their short-term goals. Sometimes individuals employ strategies to promote behavior that is congruent with their goal of avoiding sex. The purposes of the present study were to analyze the strategies that individuals reported using to decrease the likelihood they would have sex, to explore individuals’ experiences of ambivalence, and to examine how experiences of ambivalence may shift across time. Participants (N = 576) completed an online questionnaire that asked if they had ever used a strategy to decrease the likelihood they would have sex. If applicable, participants were asked to describe a situation in which they had used such a strategy. Participants completed measures on delay discounting, the Monetary Choice Questionnaire, and impulse control, the Short UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale, for quantitative analysis. Utilizing an independent-sample t-test, it was shown that facets of impulse control (e.g., negative urgency, lack of premeditation, and positive urgency) significantly differed between those who did and those who did not report ever using a strategy. Responses of 287 participants were analyzed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clark, 2006) to determine qualitative themes within the data. When describing their experiences ambivalence, participants reported a diverse array of reasons for wanting and reasons for not wanting to have sex. Building upon the work of Muehlenhard and Peterson (2005), these reasons were categorized according to how desirable or undesirable participants find the sexual act and how desirable or undesirable they find the expected outcomes of engaging or not engaging in the sexual act. Participants’ desire for the act or the outcome of sex was reflected in their strategy use: Some reported utilizing strategies to increase personal resolve in the face of desiring the act of sex, but not the outcomes; whereas others reported utilizing strategies that signaled to others they did not want the act of sex, but sought to avoid negative outcomes associated with not wanting sex. Finally, participants also demonstrated change across time in their feelings of ambivalence; this change was largely represented by those who overcame their strategy and those who overcame certain anticipated outcomes. These results build on previous models of ambivalence to capture change across time, an important step in reflecting the complexity of real-life sexual decision-making.
... The dotted lines and arrows indicate the design variables of the task to be optimized Delay discounting (DD; the task is depicted in Fig. 4), refers to the well-established finding that animals, including humans, tend to discount the value of a delayed reward such that the discount progressively increases as a function of the receipt delay (e.g., Green & Myerson, 2004;Vincent, 2016). The delay discounting task has been widely used to assess individual differences in temporal impulsivity and is a strong candidate endophenotype for addiction (Green & Myerson, 2004;Bickel, 2015). In a typical DD task, a participant is asked to indicate his/her preference between two options, a smaller-sooner (SS) option (e.g., 8 dollars now) and a larger-later (LL) option (e.g., 50 dollars in a month). ...
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Experimental design is fundamental to research, but formal methods to identify good designs are lacking. Advances in Bayesian statistics and machine learning offer algorithm-based ways to identify good experimental designs. Adaptive design optimization (ADO; Cavagnaro, Myung, Pitt, & Kujala, 2010; Myung, Cavagnaro, & Pitt, 2013) is one such method. It works by maximizing the informativeness and efficiency of data collection, thereby improving inference. ADO is a general-purpose method for conducting adaptive experiments on the fly and can lead to rapid accumulation of information about the phenomenon of interest with the fewest number of trials. The nontrivial technical skills required to use ADO have been a barrier to its wider adoption. To increase its accessibility to experimentalists at large, we introduce an open-source Python package, ADOpy, that implements ADO for optimizing experimental design. The package, available on GitHub, is written using high-level modular-based commands such that users do not have to understand the computational details of the ADO algorithm. In this paper, we first provide a tutorial introduction to ADOpy and ADO itself, and then illustrate its use in three walk-through examples: psychometric function estimation, delay discounting, and risky choice. Simulation data are also provided to demonstrate how ADO designs compare with other designs (random, staircase).
... Here, we demonstrate the successful application of adaptive design optimization (ADO), an implementation of Bayesian adaptive testing, to improving measurement in the delay discounting task. Delay discounting is a strong candidate endophenotype for addictive disorders (Anokhin, Grant, Mulligan, & Heath, 2014;Bickel, 2015) and risky behaviors (for a review see, Green & Myerson, 2004). The construct validity of delay discounting has been demonstrated in numerous studies. ...
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Machine learning has the potential to facilitate the development of computational methods that improve the measurement of cognitive and mental functioning. In three populations (college students, patients with a substance use disorder, and Amazon Mechanical Turk workers), we evaluated one such method, Bayesian adaptive design optimization (ADO), in the area of delay discounting by comparing its test-retest reliability, precision, and efficiency with that of a conventional staircase method. The results showed that ADO led to 0.95 or higher test-retest reliability of the discounting rate within 10-20 trials (under 1-2 minutes of testing) in all three populations tested, captured approximately 10% more variance in test-retest reliability, was 3-5 times more precise, and was 3-8 times more efficient than the staircase method. The ADO methodology provides efficient and precise protocols for phenotyping individual differences.
... Inhibitory control (Go/No Go; Kaufman et al., 2003), working memory (N-Back; Watter et al., 2001), temporal processing (Delay Discounting Bickel, 2015), stress reactivity/distress tolerance (TSST; Kirschbaum et al., 1993); personalized guided imagery (Sinha, 2013); risky decision making (Iowa Gambling Task (Bechara et al., 1997) and reward processing (MID; Knutson et al., 2001) could be some of the domains and measures. ...
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There is growing interest in non-invasive brain stimulation as a novel treatment option for substance use disorders (SUDs). Recent momentum stems from a foundation of preclinical neuroscience research demonstrating causal and associative links between neural circuit activity and drug consuming behavior, as well as recent FDA-approval of non-invasive brain stimulation treatments for mental health disorders that share overlapping pathology with many SUDs. As with any emerging field, enthusiasm must be tempered by reason; lessons learned from the past should be prudently applied to future therapies. In the present manuscript an international ensemble of experts in neuromodulation and addiction research provides an overview of the state of transcranial electrical (tES) and transcranial magnetic (TMS) stimulation therapies applied to addiction medicine. This consensus paper provides a systematic literature review on published data – emphasizing the heterogeneity of methods and outcome measures while suggesting strategies to help bridge knowledge gaps. The goal of this effort is to provide the research community with guidelines for best practices in tES/TMS SUD research. Our hope is that this will accelerate the speed with which we can work together as a community to translate basic neuroscience knowledge into advanced neuromodulation tools for clinical practice in addiction medicine.
... Of the various neurocognitive functions implicated in SUDs, neurocognitive dimensions of impulsivity have received the strongest support as a candidate endophenotype for SUDs [8,[13][14][15]. Neurocognitive impulsivity is characterized by multiple dimensions that are typically measured with tasks falling into one of two categories [16]: (1) Decisional/Choice impulsivity, which refers to the tendency to choose immediate but smaller rewards over delayed but larger rewards and may involve deficits in delaying gratification and exerting self-control [7], assessed by decisionmaking tasks involving various risk, reward, and delay contingencies [7,17]; and (2) Motor/Action impulsivity, which refers to the ability to refrain from inhibiting inappropriate behaviors, assessed by response inhibition tasks [18,19]. ...
Article
BACKGROUND The differential utility of neurocognitive impulsivity and externalizing/internalizing traits as putative endophenotypes for dependence on heroin vs. amphetamine is unclear. OBJECTIVE This exploratory study aims to determine: (1) whether neurocognitive impulsivity dimensions and externalizing/internalizing traits are correlated between siblings discordant for heroin and amphetamine dependence; and (2) which of these associations are common across substances and which are substance-specific. METHODS Pearson correlations between individuals with ‘pure’ heroin and amphetamine dependence and their unaffected biological siblings (n = 37 heroin sibling pairs; n = 30 amphetamine sibling pairs) were run on 10 neurocognitive measures, 6 externalizing measures, and 5 internalizing measures. Sibling pair effects were further examined using regression. RESULTS Siblings discordant for heroin dependence were significantly correlated on delay aversion on the Cambridge Gambling Task, risk-taking on the Balloon Analogue Risk Task, sensation seeking, and hopelessness. Siblings discordant for amphetamine dependence were significantly correlated on quality of decision-making on the Cambridge Gambling Task, discriminability on the Immediate Memory Task, commission errors on the Go/No Go Task, trait impulsivity, ADHD, and anxiety sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS Dimensions of impulsivity and externalizing/internalizing traits appear to aggregate among siblings discordant for substance dependence. Risk-taking propensity, sensation seeking, and hopelessness were specific for heroin sibling pairs. Motor/action impulsivity, trait impulsivity, and anxiety sensitivity were specific to amphetamine sibling pairs. Decisional/choice impulsivity was common across both heroin and amphetamine sibling pairs. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the utility of neurocognitive impulsivity and externalizing/ internalizing traits as candidate endophenotypes for substance dependence in general and for substance-specific dependencies.
... Of the various neurocognitive functions implicated in SUDs, neurocognitive dimensions of impulsivity have received some of the strongest support as a candidate endophenotype for SUDs (Bickel, 2015;Frederick and Iacono, 2006;Kreek et al., 2005;MacKillop, 2013). Neurocognitive impulsivity is characterized by multiple dimensions that are typically measured with tasks falling into one of two categories (Winstanley et al., 2010): (1) Decisional/Choice impulsivity, which refers to the tendency to choose immediate but smaller rewards over delayed but larger rewards and may involve deficits in delaying gratification and exerting self-control (Fineberg et al., 2010), assessed with decision-making tasks involving various risk, reward, and delay contingencies (Fineberg et al., 2010;Hamilton et al., 2015b); and (2) Motor/Action impulsivity, which refers to the ability to refrain from inhibiting inappropriate behaviors, assessed with response inhibition tasks (Fineberg et al., 2014;Hamilton et al., 2015a). ...
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BACKGROUND The differential utility of neurocognitive impulsivity and externalizing/internalizing traits as putative addiction endophenotypes among individuals dependent on opiates vs. stimulants is unclear. The present study aims to determine: (1) whether neurocognitive impulsivity dimensions and externalizing/internalizing traits are correlated between siblings discordant for opiate and stimulant dependence; and (2) which of these associations are common across substances and which are substance-specific. METHOD Pearson correlations between individuals with ‘pure’ heroin and ‘pure’ amphetamine dependence and their unaffected biological siblings ( n = 37 heroin sibling pairs; n = 30 amphetamine sibling pairs) were run on 10 neurocognitive measures, 6 externalizing measures, and 5 internalizing measures. Sibling pair effects were further examined using regression. RESULTS Siblings discordant for heroin dependence were significantly correlated on delay aversion on the Cambridge Gambling Task, risk-taking on the Balloon Analogue Risk Task, sensation seeking, and hopelessness. Siblings discordant for amphetamine dependence were significantly correlated on quality of decision-making on the Cambridge Gambling Task, discriminability on the Immediate Memory Task, commission errors on the Go/No-Go Task, trait impulsivity, ADHD, and anxiety sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS Dimensions of impulsivity and externalizing/internalizing traits appear to aggregate among siblings discordant for substance dependence. Risk-taking propensity, sensation seeking, and hopelessness were specific for heroin sibling pairs. Motor/action impulsivity and trait impulsivity were specific to amphetamine sibling pairs. Decisional/choice impulsivity was common across both heroin and amphetamine sibling pairs. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the utility of neurocognitive impulsivity and externalizing/internalizing traits as candidate endophenotypes for substance dependence in general and for substance-specific dependencies.
... This had led some to argue that the discounting rate should be viewed as a personality trait (Odum, 2011)-namely, someone's relative DD rate is highly stable. At the same time, there is a growing number of studies that suggest that intraindividual differences in DD rate are substantial as well: Within individuals, DD rate changes as a function of contextual/situational factors (Bickel, 2015;Gray & MacKillop, 2015;Odum, 2011). Therefore, there is growing attention for trainings and manipulations that successfully target and decrease heightened DD (e.g., Bickel, Quisenberry, Moody, & Wilson, 2015;Koffarnus et al., 2013). ...
Article
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In everyday decision-making, individuals make trade-offs between short-term and long-term benefits or costs. Depending on many factors, individuals may choose to wait for larger delayed reward, yet in other situations they may prefer the smaller, immediate reward. In addition to within-subject variation in the short-term versus long-term reward trade-off, there are also interindividual differences in delay discounting (DD), which have been shown to be quite stable. The extent to which individuals discount the value of delayed rewards turns out to be associated with important health and disorder-related outcomes: the more discounting, the more unhealthy or problematic choices. This has led to the hypothesis that DD can be conceptualized as trans-disease process. The current systematic review presents an overview of behavioral trainings and manipulations that have been developed to reduce DD in human participants aged 12 years or older. Manipulation studies mostly contain one session and measure DD directly after the manipulation. Training studies add a multiple session training component that is not per se related to DD, in between two DD task measurements. Ninety-eight studies (151 experiments) were identified that tested behavioral trainings and manipulations to decrease DD. Overall, results indicated that DD can be decreased, showing that DD is profoundly context dependent and changeable. Most promising avenues to pursue in future research seem to be acceptance-based/mindfulness-based trainings, and even more so manipulations involving a future orientation. Limitations and recommendations are discussed to identify the mechanistic processes that allow for changes in discount rate and behavior accordingly.
... Future research might prioritize the identification of these types of individual differences in the degree to which these two systems impact frequent cannabis and whether such profiles differentially respond to particular intervention strategies for reducing the frequency and severity of use (Lopez-Vergara et al., 2019). Targeting DD in cannabis users may be a fruitful strategy for reducing cannabis misuse because DD is associated with a greater risk for developing a SUD and SUD severity (Bickel, 2015), it decreases with effective treatment (Koffarnus et al., 2013), and it can be effectively reduced with a growing number of interventions (Mellis et al., 2019; Multinomial logistic regression results comparing low vs. high frequency and moderate versus high frequency classes for each variable. The reference category is the High Use Class. ...
Article
Background Self-regulation deficits expressed through a decreased ability to value future rewards (delay discounting (DD)) and impaired emotion regulation (negative urgency (NU), cannabis coping motives (CCM), and anxiety sensitivity (AS)) relate to more frequent or problematic cannabis use. However, there is a need to better understand how self-regulation and emotion regulation constructs reflect competition between deliberative and reactive systems that drive individual differences in cannabis use patterns. Further, few studies assess frequency of cannabis use within and across days of use, which may obscure differentiation of individual differences. Methods In a large national sample of 2,545 cannabis users, Latent Class Analysis was used to derive participant sub-classes based on two frequency indices, self-reported cannabis use days and times cannabis was used per day. Three classes emerged: Low (1-9 days/month, 1 time/day; 23%), moderate (10-29 days/month, 2-3 times/day; 41%), and high (30 days/month, ≥4 times/day; 36%). Relationships among frequency classes and emotional regulation and impulsivity were assessed with a multinomial logistic regression. Results Higher frequency use was associated with greater DD (χ2 = 6.0, p = .05), greater CCM (χ2 = 73.3, p < .001), and lower cognitive AS (χ2 = 12.1, p = .002), when controlling for demographics, tobacco use, and number of cannabis administration methods. Frequency class and NU were not significantly associated. Conclusions Identifying meaningful patterns of cannabis use may improve our understanding of individual differences that increase risk of frequent or problematic cannabis use. Excessive delay discounting and using cannabis to cope with negative affect may be relevant targets for treatments designed to reduce cannabis use.
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Machine learning has the potential to facilitate the development of computational methods that improve the measurement of cognitive and mental functioning. In three populations (college students, patients with a substance use disorder, and Amazon Mechanical Turk workers), we evaluated one such method, Bayesian adaptive design optimization (ADO), in the area of delay discounting by comparing its test–retest reliability, precision, and efficiency with that of a conventional staircase method. In all three populations tested, the results showed that ADO led to 0.95 or higher test–retest reliability of the discounting rate within 10–20 trials (under 1–2 min of testing), captured approximately 10% more variance in test–retest reliability, was 3–5 times more precise, and was 3–8 times more efficient than the staircase method. The ADO methodology provides efficient and precise protocols for measuring individual differences in delay discounting.
Article
Impulsivity is an ill-defined umbrella term. Therefore, in addition to factor-analytic models, network models that characterize the relative positions of their components can offer novel insights. Here, we investigated the structure of impulsivity in 1,000 participants using the Short UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale and a temporal discounting task. Our results revealed an acceptable fit of a five-factor solution of the Short UPPS-P but question the separability of Positive and Negative Urgency. Additionally, Lack of Premeditation showed high closeness centrality and was – like Positive and Negative Urgency – significantly yet weakly related to temporal discounting. It remains to be investigated further to what extent Lack of Premeditation is a common cause or consequence of other impulsivity components.
Article
Although several previous studies have shown that individuals’ attitude towards time could affect their intertemporal preference, little is known about the neural basis of the relation between time perspective (TP) and delay discounting. In the present study, we quantified the gray matter (GM) cortical volume using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) methods to investigate the effect of TP on delay discounting (DD) across two independent samples. For group 1 (102 healthy college students; 46 male; 20.40±1.87 years), behavioral results showed that only Future TP was a significant predictor of DD, and higher scores on Future TP were related to lower discounting rates. Whole-brain analysis revealed that steeper discounting correlated with greater GM volume in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and ventral part of posterior cingulate cortex (vPCC). Also, GM volume of a cluster in the vmPFC was correlated with Future TP. Interestingly, there was an overlapping region in vmPFC that was correlated with both DD and Future TP. Region-of-interest analysis further indicated that the overlapping region of vmPFC played a partially mediating role in the relation between Future TP and DD in the other independent dataset (Group 2, 36 healthy college students; 14 male; 20.18±1.80 years). Taken together, our results provide a new perspective from neural basis for explaining the relation between DD and future TP.
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Prevalence of cannabis use in the United States continues to rise, and 30% of cannabis users eventually meet criteria for Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD). One response to this problem is to develop decision-making constructs that indicate vulnerability to CUD that might not be gleaned from diagnostic criteria. Unfortunately, there is limited evidence that decision-making constructs consistently relate to cannabis use. Interestingly, those who exhibit the sunk cost bias, an overgeneralized tendency to persist based on past investment, and those who use cannabis, both tend to focus on the past and perseverate more than their counterparts. Despite this overlap, no studies have assessed whether the sunk cost bias is positively associated with cannabis use. In 2 experiments with undergraduates, relations between cannabis use and the propensity to engage in the sunk cost bias were examined using negative binomial models. Experiment 1 (n = 46) evaluated the association between sunk cost bias propensity (using hypothetical costs and rewards) and frequency of cannabis use over the past 30 days. Greater sunk cost propensity was associated with more frequent cannabis use after controlling for demographics and alcohol use. In Experiment 2 (n = 103), more frequent cannabis use during a 6-week follow-up period was predicted by greater sunk cost propensity at baseline (using a real cost and reward-based task), independently and after controlling for mental health symptoms, alcohol use, and demographics. These findings provide preliminary evidence that a propensity to exhibit the sunk cost bias may be an important feature associated with cannabis use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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Despite the well-established association between problem gambling and ADHD core categories of impulsivity-hyperactivity and inattention, the link between parents’ problem gambling and impulsivity-hyperactivity/inattention (IH/I) behaviors in children has not been investigated. This study investigated the association between parents’ problem gambling and children’s IH/I behaviors while controlling for potential confounding variables. A population-based prospective cohort followed-up from kindergarten to age 30, the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Kindergarten Children (QLSKC), provided data over three generations. Among 1358 participants at age 30, parents with a child aged 1 year or older (N = 468; Mean age = 4.65 years; SD = 2.70) were selected. Generalized Linear Models included measures of grandparents’ and parents’ problem gambling, parents’ IH/I behaviors in childhood, and a host of risk factors and comorbidities to predict IH/I in children. Intergenerational bivariate associations were observed between grandparents’ problem gambling, parents’ IH/I in childhood and problem gambling at age 30, and between parents’ IH/I, problem gambling, and children’s IH/I behaviors. Parents’ problem gambling predicted children’s IH/I behaviors above and beyond the effects of covariates such as family and socioeconomic characteristics, alcohol and drug use, depression symptoms and parents’ gambling involvement. Parents’ IH/I behaviors in childhood also predicted children’s IH/I and had a moderating, enhancing effect on parents’ problem gambling association with their offspring’s IH/I behaviors. Problem gambling is a characteristic of parents’ mental health that is distinctively associated with children’s IH/I behaviors, above and beyond parents’ own history of IH/I and of typically related addictive, psychopathological or socioeconomic risk factors and comorbidities.
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Background Delay discounting refers to the devaluation of a reward given increasing delays to delivery. Similarly, effort discounting refers to the devaluation of a reward given increasing effort required to obtain it. Individuals with substance use disorder show higher rates of delay discounting, exacerbating short‐term positive reinforcement at the expense of long‐term consequences. This study explores how effort discounting compares to delay discounting behavior among alcohol users as well as how these preferences change between monetary and alcohol rewards. Methods A total of 100 participants completed an online survey through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Participant alcohol use was evaluated using DSM‐5 and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test criteria. All participants completed 4 randomized discounting tasks involving delay or effort discounting, in which the reward was money or alcohol. A follow‐up experiment (n = 423) added the alcohol purchase task to assess alcohol valuation. Results Individuals with greater alcohol use disorder (AUD) severity discounted future money and alcohol significantly more than those with less AUD. However, individuals meeting more DSM‐5 criteria were only willing to perform more effort for alcohol. The follow‐up experiment replicated these findings and demonstrated that individuals with greater AUD also showed an increased valuation of alcohol and alcohol value‐mediated effort discounting. Conclusions These results suggest that individuals with greater AUD were less willing to wait for money or alcohol. While all participants were willing to work for money regardless of AUD severity, individuals with greater AUD showed increased valuation of alcohol drinks and were willing to exert more effort to obtain alcohol. Together, these results paint a picture of individuals with increased AUD as both more impulsive and willing to work to obtain alcohol, contributing to our understanding of decision making among individuals who abuse substances.
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Background: African American men experience increases in smoking during the young adult transition. Exposure to childhood adversity, a risk factor which disproportionately affects African American men, has been identified as a robust precursor to health risk behavior in general and cigarette smoking in particular. The intermediate mechanisms that transmit the influence of early adversity to smoking behavior are not well understood. Purpose: We tested a model of the escalation of smoking behaviors among young adult African American men, investigating sleep disturbance and delayed reward discounting as intermediate factors linking adverse childhood experiences with smoking. Methods: Hypotheses were tested with 3 waves of data (Mage-T1= 20.34, Mage-T2= 21.92, Mage-T3= 23.02) from 505 African American men living in rural counties in South Georgia. Men provided self-report data on their adverse childhood experiences, sleep problems, and smoking behavior using audio assisted computer self-interviews. Men also completed a computer-based delayed reward discounting task. Results: Structural equation modeling analyses supported our hypotheses: Adverse childhood experiences predicted poor sleep adequacy, which forecast increases in delayed reward discounting; discounting, in turn, predicted increased smoking. Significant indirect pathways were detected linking adversity to discounting via sleep adequacy and linking sleep adequacy to smoking via discounting. Conclusions: Prevention and intervention researchers can draw on these findings to develop programs that focus on sleep adequacy to reduce smoking in African American men exposed to childhood adversity.
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Contemporary neuro-economic approaches hypothesize that self-control failure results from drugs annexing normal learning mechanisms that produce pathological reward processing and distort decision-making as a result from the dysregulation of two valuation systems. An emphasis on processes shared across different diseases and disorders is at odds with the contemporary approach that assumes unique disease etiologies and treatments. Studying trans-disease processes can identify mechanisms that operate in multiple disease states and ascertain if factors that influence processes in one disease state may be applicable to all disease states. In this paper we review the dual model of self-control failure, the Competing Neurobehavioral Decision Systems approach, the relationship of delay discounting to the relative control of these two systems, and evidence that the executive system can be strengthened. Future research that could result in more potent interventions for executive system improvement and potential constraints on the repair of self-control failure are discussed.
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The field of behavioral economics has made important inroads into the understanding of substance use disorders through the concept of reinforcer pathology. Reinforcer pathology refers to the joint effects of (a) the persistently high valuation of a reinforcer, broadly defined to include tangible commodities and experiences, and/or (b) the excessive preference for the immediate acquisition or consumption of a commodity despite long-term negative outcomes. From this perspective, reinforcer pathology results from the recursive interactions of endogenous person-level variables and exogenous environment-level factors. The current review describes the basic principles of behavioral economics that are central to reinforcer pathology, the processes that engender reinforcer pathology, and the approaches and procedures that can repair reinforcement pathologies. The overall goal of this review is to present a new understanding of substance use disorders as viewed by recent advances in behavioral economics.
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Delay discounting (DD) refers to the preference for smaller immediate rewards over larger but delayed rewards, and is considered to be a distinct component of a broader "impulsivity" construct. Although greater propensity for discounting the value of delayed gratification has been associated with a range of problem behaviors and substance abuse, particularly in adolescents, the origins of individual differences in DD remain unclear. We examined genetic and environmental influences on a real-life behavioral measure of DD using a longitudinal twin design. Adolescent participants were asked to choose between a smaller ($7) reward available immediately and a larger ($10) reward to be received in 7 days. Biometrical genetic analysis using linear structural equation modeling showed significant heritability of DD at ages 12 and 14 (30 and 51%, respectively) and suggested that the same genetic factors influenced the trait at both ages. DD was significantly associated with symptoms of conduct disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, substance use, and with higher novelty seeking and poor self-regulation. This study provides the first evidence for heritability of DD in humans and suggests that DD can be a promising endophenotype for genetic studies of addiction and externalizing disorders.
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Background: Delay discounting (DD), a decline in the subjective value of reward with increasing delay until its receipt, is an established behavioral model of impulsive choice, a key component of a broader impulsivity construct. Greater DD, i.e., a tendency to choose smaller immediate over larger delayed rewards, has been implicated as a potential intermediate phenotype (endophenotype) for addictive disorders and comorbid externalizing psychopathology, particularly in adolescence. However, genetic and environmental origins of DD remain unclear. Accordingly, the goal of the present study was to assess heritability of DD, an important aspect of its utility as an endophenotype. Methods: A commonly used computerized procedure involving choice between varying amounts of money available immediately and a standard amount of $100 presented at variable delays was administered to a population-based sample of twins aged 16 and 18 (n = 560, including 134 monozygotic and 142 dizygotic pairs). DD was quantified using area under the discounting curve and the k coefficient estimated by fitting a hyperbolic model to individual data. Heritability was assessed using linear structural equation modeling of twin data. Results: The genetic analysis revealed significant heritability of both DD measures (area under the discounting curve: 46% and 62%; k: 35% and 55% at age 16 and 18, respectively). Conclusions: The present study provides evidence for heritability of both model-based and model-free DD measures and suggests that DD is a promising intermediate phenotype for genetic dissection of impulsivity and externalizing spectrum disorders.
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Delayed reward discounting is a behavioral economic index of impulsivity, referring to how much an individual devalues a reward based on its delay in time. As a behavioral process that varies considerably across individuals, delay discounting has been studied extensively as a model for self-control, both in the general population and in clinical samples. There is growing interest in genetic influences on discounting and, in particular, the prospect of discounting as an endophenotype for addictive disorders (i.e., a heritable mechanism partially responsible for conferring genetic risk). This review assembles and critiques the evidence supporting this hypothesis. Via numerous cross-sectional studies and a small number of longitudinal studies, there is considerable evidence that impulsive discounting is associated with addictive behavior and appears to play an etiological role. Moreover, there is increasing evidence from diverse methodologies that impulsive delay discounting is temporally stable, heritable, and that elevated levels are present in nonaffected family members. These findings suggest that impulsive discounting meets the criteria for being considered an endophenotype. In addition, recent findings suggest that genetic variation related to dopamine neurotransmission is significantly associated with variability in discounting preferences. A significant caveat, however, is that the literature is modest in some domains and, in others, not all the findings have been supportive or consistent. In addition, important methodological considerations are necessary in future studies. Taken together, although not definitive, there is accumulating support for the hypothesis of impulsive discounting as an endophenotype for addictive behavior and a need for further systematic investigation.
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Delay discounting, a willingness to postpone receiving an immediate reward in order to gain additional benefits in the future, is conceptually related to time perspective, the cognitive processes which filter temporal information and influence behavior. One measure of delay discounting (Money Choice Questionnaire) and two measures of time perspective (Consideration of Future Consequences Scale and Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory) were compared in this study to each other and to self-reported health behaviors with 467 undergraduates. Delay discounting and time perspective significantly improved the incremental prediction of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use, exercise frequency, eating breakfast, wearing a safety belt, estimated longevity, health concerns, and sociosexual orientation above and beyond sex and Big Five traits. These results further suggest that delay discounting and time perspective are indeed similar but also non-redundant constructs that are not reducible to global personality.
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Endophenotypes, measurable components unseen by the unaided eye along the pathway between disease and distal genotype, have emerged as an important concept in the study of complex neuropsychiatric diseases. An endophenotype may be neurophysiological, biochemical, endocrinological, neuroanatomical, cognitive, or neuropsychological (including configured self-report data) in nature. Endophenotypes represent simpler clues to genetic underpinnings than the disease syndrome itself, promoting the view that psychiatric diagnoses can be decomposed or deconstructed, which can result in more straightforward-and successful-genetic analysis. However, to be most useful, endophenotypes for psychiatric disorders must meet certain criteria, including association with a candidate gene or gene region, heritability that is inferred from relative risk for the disorder in relatives, and disease association parameters. In addition to furthering genetic analysis, endophenotypes can clarify classification and diagnosis and foster the development of animal models. The authors discuss the etymology and strategy behind the use of endophenotypes in neuropsychiatric research and, more generally, in research on other diseases with complex genetics.