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What underlies the effect of sleep disruption? The role of alertness in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

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... Unfortunately, the "pessimistic phenotype" might no longer be predominantly adaptive for humans in general, while remaining "evolutionarily hardwired" in our brain and physiology. This observation accounts parsimoniously for behaviors and physiologies that can lead to the development of psychopathologies and medical conditions (Harvey et al. 2011;Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Snyder & Hankin 2016), including major depressive disorder, hoarding disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and abnormal attentional processes, all of which can be understood as extreme expressions of behaviors that might have been adaptive when expecting hardship during our evolutionary history. It also extends the range of possible causes of conditions that A&G discuss, namely, obesity, drug addiction, and gambling (Logan et al. 2017;Spiegel et al. 2009). ...
... Similarly, we suggest that stress may induce seemingly unrelated behaviors that may become pathological, such as hoarding and OCD. Although such a link has been suggested (Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Paterson et al. 2013;Raines et al. 2015), it is not well studied; our account sheds light on its possible underpinnings. Many medical conditions and psychopathologies are thus not cases of broken systems that need to be fixed. ...
Article
Information seeking, especially when motivated by strategic learning and intrinsic curiosity, could render the new mechanism “incentive hope” proposed by Anselme & Güntürkün sufficient, but not necessary to explain how reward uncertainty promotes reward seeking and consumption. Naturalistic and foraging-like tasks can help parse motivational processes that bridge learning and foraging behaviors and identify their neural underpinnings.
... Unfortunately, the "pessimistic phenotype" might no longer be predominantly adaptive for humans in general, while remaining "evolutionarily hardwired" in our brain and physiology. This observation accounts parsimoniously for behaviors and physiologies that can lead to the development of psychopathologies and medical conditions (Harvey et al. 2011;Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Snyder & Hankin 2016), including major depressive disorder, hoarding disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and abnormal attentional processes, all of which can be understood as extreme expressions of behaviors that might have been adaptive when expecting hardship during our evolutionary history. It also extends the range of possible causes of conditions that A&G discuss, namely, obesity, drug addiction, and gambling (Logan et al. 2017;Spiegel et al. 2009). ...
... Similarly, we suggest that stress may induce seemingly unrelated behaviors that may become pathological, such as hoarding and OCD. Although such a link has been suggested (Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Paterson et al. 2013;Raines et al. 2015), it is not well studied; our account sheds light on its possible underpinnings. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this commentary, we discuss how the “incentive hope” hypothesis explains differences in food-wasting behaviors among humans. We stress that the role of relevant ecological characteristics should be taken into consideration together with the incentive hope hypothesis: population mobility, animal domestication, and food-wasting visibility.
... Unfortunately, the "pessimistic phenotype" might no longer be predominantly adaptive for humans in general, while remaining "evolutionarily hardwired" in our brain and physiology. This observation accounts parsimoniously for behaviors and physiologies that can lead to the development of psychopathologies and medical conditions (Harvey et al. 2011;Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Snyder & Hankin 2016), including major depressive disorder, hoarding disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and abnormal attentional processes, all of which can be understood as extreme expressions of behaviors that might have been adaptive when expecting hardship during our evolutionary history. It also extends the range of possible causes of conditions that A&G discuss, namely, obesity, drug addiction, and gambling (Logan et al. 2017;Spiegel et al. 2009). ...
... Similarly, we suggest that stress may induce seemingly unrelated behaviors that may become pathological, such as hoarding and OCD. Although such a link has been suggested (Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Paterson et al. 2013;Raines et al. 2015), it is not well studied; our account sheds light on its possible underpinnings. Many medical conditions and psychopathologies are thus not cases of broken systems that need to be fixed. ...
Article
Our target article proposes that a new concept – incentive hope – is necessary in the behavioral sciences to explain animal foraging under harsh environmental conditions. Incentive hope refers to a specific motivational mechanism in the brain – considered only in mammals and birds. But it can also be understood at a functional level, as an adaptive behavioral strategy that contributes to improve survival. Thus, this concept is an attempt to bridge across different research fields such as behavioral psychology, reward neuroscience, and behavioral ecology. Many commentaries suggest that incentive hope even could help understand phenomena beyond these research fields, including food wasting and food sharing, mental energy conservation, diverse psychopathologies, irrational decisions in invertebrates, and some aspects of evolution by means of sexual selection. We are favorable to such extensions because incentive hope denotes an unconscious process capable of working against many forms of adversity; organisms do not need to hope as a subjective feeling, but to behave as if they had this feeling. In our response, we carefully discuss each suggestion and criticism and reiterate the importance of having a theory accounting for motivation under reward uncertainty.
... Unfortunately, the "pessimistic phenotype" might no longer be predominantly adaptive for humans in general, while remaining "evolutionarily hardwired" in our brain and physiology. This observation accounts parsimoniously for behaviors and physiologies that can lead to the development of psychopathologies and medical conditions (Harvey et al. 2011;Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Snyder & Hankin 2016), including major depressive disorder, hoarding disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and abnormal attentional processes, all of which can be understood as extreme expressions of behaviors that might have been adaptive when expecting hardship during our evolutionary history. It also extends the range of possible causes of conditions that A&G discuss, namely, obesity, drug addiction, and gambling (Logan et al. 2017;Spiegel et al. 2009). ...
... Similarly, we suggest that stress may induce seemingly unrelated behaviors that may become pathological, such as hoarding and OCD. Although such a link has been suggested (Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Paterson et al. 2013;Raines et al. 2015), it is not well studied; our account sheds light on its possible underpinnings. Many medical conditions and psychopathologies are thus not cases of broken systems that need to be fixed. ...
Article
Poverty-related food insecurity can be viewed as a form of economic and nutritional uncertainty that can lead, in some situations, to a desire for more filling and satisfying food. Given the current obesogenic food environment and the nature of the food supply, those food choices could engage a combination of sensory, neurophysiological, and genetic factors as potential determinants of obesity.
... Unfortunately, the "pessimistic phenotype" might no longer be predominantly adaptive for humans in general, while remaining "evolutionarily hardwired" in our brain and physiology. This observation accounts parsimoniously for behaviors and physiologies that can lead to the development of psychopathologies and medical conditions (Harvey et al. 2011;Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Snyder & Hankin 2016), including major depressive disorder, hoarding disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and abnormal attentional processes, all of which can be understood as extreme expressions of behaviors that might have been adaptive when expecting hardship during our evolutionary history. It also extends the range of possible causes of conditions that A&G discuss, namely, obesity, drug addiction, and gambling (Logan et al. 2017;Spiegel et al. 2009). ...
... Similarly, we suggest that stress may induce seemingly unrelated behaviors that may become pathological, such as hoarding and OCD. Although such a link has been suggested (Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Paterson et al. 2013;Raines et al. 2015), it is not well studied; our account sheds light on its possible underpinnings. Many medical conditions and psychopathologies are thus not cases of broken systems that need to be fixed. ...
Article
Poverty-related food insecurity can be viewed as a form of economic and nutritional uncertainty, that can lead, in some situations, to a desire for more filling and satisfying food. Given the current obesogenic food environment and the nature of the food supply, those food choices could engage a combination of sensory, neurophysiological and genetic factors as potential determinants of obesity.
... Unfortunately, the "pessimistic phenotype" might no longer be predominantly adaptive for humans in general, while remaining "evolutionarily hardwired" in our brain and physiology. This observation accounts parsimoniously for behaviors and physiologies that can lead to the development of psychopathologies and medical conditions (Harvey et al. 2011;Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Snyder & Hankin 2016), including major depressive disorder, hoarding disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and abnormal attentional processes, all of which can be understood as extreme expressions of behaviors that might have been adaptive when expecting hardship during our evolutionary history. It also extends the range of possible causes of conditions that A&G discuss, namely, obesity, drug addiction, and gambling (Logan et al. 2017;Spiegel et al. 2009). ...
... Similarly, we suggest that stress may induce seemingly unrelated behaviors that may become pathological, such as hoarding and OCD. Although such a link has been suggested (Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Paterson et al. 2013;Raines et al. 2015), it is not well studied; our account sheds light on its possible underpinnings. Many medical conditions and psychopathologies are thus not cases of broken systems that need to be fixed. ...
Article
Food uncertainty has the effect of invigorating food-related responses. Psychologists have noted that mammals and birds respond more to a conditioned stimulus that unreliably predicts food delivery, and ecologists have shown that animals (especially small passerines) consume and/or hoard more food and can get fatter when access to that resource is unpredictable. Are these phenomena related? We think they are. Psychologists have proposed several mechanistic interpretations, while ecologists have suggested a functional interpretation: the effect of unpredictability on fat reserves and hoarding behavior is an evolutionary strategy acting against the risk of starvation when food is in short supply. Both perspectives are complementary, and we argue that the psychology of incentive motivational processes can shed some light on the causal mechanisms leading animals to seek and consume more food under uncertainty in the wild. Our theoretical approach is in agreement with neuroscientific data relating to the role of dopamine, a neurotransmitter strongly involved in incentive motivation, and its plausibility has received some explanatory and predictive value with respect to Pavlovian phenomena. Overall, we argue that the occasional and unavoidable absence of food rewards has motivational effects (called incentive hope) that facilitate foraging effort. It is shown that this hypothesis is computationally tenable, leading foragers in an unpredictable environment to consume more food items and to have higher long-term energy storage than foragers in a predictable environment.
... The blunted reactions to negative and positive stimuli observed here may indicate that decreased response readiness across stimulus characteristics (i.e., alertness; Weinbach & Henik, 2011) is associated with sleep disturbance (Basner et al., 2017;Vanttola et al., 2019). Kalanthroff et al. (2016) have previously suggested that low alertness may explain the Note. * p < .05, ...
Article
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Recently, there has been increasing recognition that individuals with heightened repetitive negative thinking and anxiety often experience disruptions in their sleep and circadian rhythms. However, the mechanisms of this relation require further study. The primary aim of this study is to identify whether emotional reactivity is related to sleep in individuals with repetitive negative thinking. Fifty-two individuals selected for high levels of transdiagnostic repetitive negative thinking and varying amounts of sleep disruption were included in the study sample. Participants passively viewed emotionally-valenced (positive and negative) and neutral images. Some of these images had been previously-seen by participants and others were novel. Participants’ pupil diameter was measured as they viewed the images and they also rated their subjective reaction to these images. Poorer sleep quality was significantly associated with less pupil dilation in response to all novel stimuli (i.e., collapsing across emotion). Shorter habitual sleep duration and longer sleep onset latency were associated with lower subjective unpleasantness when viewing all study stimuli (i.e., collapsing across novelty and emotion). These findings were consistent with the possibility that sleep disturbance may be related to repetitive negative thinking through differences in emotional reactivity. Sleep disturbance has been associated with blunted responses to emotional stimuli in other samples. Future studies examining mechanisms and moderators of increased and blunted emotional response related to sleep disturbance are needed.
... The central norepinephrine (NE) system mediates stress responses, attention, arousal, emotional state, and behavioral flexibility (Aston-Jones et al. 2007;Sara 2009), all of which are disrupted in patients with OCD (Adams et al. 2018;Cocchi et al. 2012;Gehring et al. 2000;Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Spitznagel and Suhr 2002). The 5-HT and NE neuromodulatory systems regulate one another (Kim et al. 2004;O'Leary et al. 2007;Pasquier et al. 1977;Pudovkina et al. 2002;Segal 1979) and have overlapping terminal fields in forebrain regions, such as the ACC, where 5-HT exerts an inhibitory influence (Czyrak et al. 2003;Hajós et al. 2003;Tanaka and North 1993) and NE exerts an excitatory influence (Berridge et al. 1993;Gompf et al. 2010;Marzo et al. 2014;Stone et al. 2006). ...
Article
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RationaleObsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive behaviors exacerbated by stress. Many OCD patients do not respond to available pharmacotherapies, but neurosurgical ablation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) can provide symptomatic relief. Although the ACC receives noradrenergic innervation and expresses adrenergic receptors (ARs), the involvement of norepinephrine (NE) in OCD has not been investigated.Objective To determine the effects of genetic or pharmacological disruption of NE neurotransmission on marble burying (MB) and nestlet shredding (NS), two animal models of OCD.Methods We assessed NE-deficient (Dbh −/−) mice and NE-competent (Dbh +/−) controls in MB and NS tasks. We also measured the effects of anti-adrenergic drugs on NS and MB in control mice and the effects of pharmacological restoration of central NE in Dbh −/− mice. Finally, we compared c-fos induction in the locus coeruleus (LC) and ACC of Dbh −/− and control mice following both tasks.ResultsDbh −/− mice virtually lacked MB and NS behaviors seen in control mice but did not differ in the elevated zero maze (EZM) model of general anxiety-like behavior. Pharmacological restoration of central NE synthesis in Dbh −/− mice completely rescued NS behavior, while NS and MB were suppressed in control mice by anti-adrenergic drugs. Expression of c-fos in the ACC was attenuated in Dbh −/− mice after MB and NS.Conclusion These findings support a role for NE transmission to the ACC in the expression of stress-induced compulsive behaviors and suggest further evaluation of anti-adrenergic drugs for OCD is warranted.
... The central norepinephrine (NE) system mediates stress responses, attention, arousal, emotional state, and behavioral flexibility (Aston-Jones et al. 2007;Sara 2009), all of which are disrupted in patients with OCD (Adams et al. 2018;Cocchi et al. 2012;Gehring et al. 2000;Kalanthroff et al. 2016;Spitznagel and Suhr 2002). ...
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Rationale: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive behaviors exacerbated by stress. Many OCD patients do not respond to available pharmacotherapies, but neurosurgical ablation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) can provide symptomatic relief. Although the ACC receives noradrenergic innervation and expresses adrenergic receptors (ARs), the involvement of norepinephrine (NE) in OCD has not been investigated. Objective: To determine the effects of genetic or pharmacological disruption of NE neurotransmission on marble burying (MB) and nestlet shredding (NS) in two animal models of OCD. Methods: We assessed NE-deficient (Dbh -/-) mice and NE-competent (Dbh +/-) controls in MB and NS tasks. We also measured the effects of anti-adrenergic drugs on NS and MB in control mice and the effects of pharmacological restoration of central NE in Dbh -/- mice. Finally, we compared c-fos induction in the locus coeruleus (LC) and ACC of Dbh -/- and control mice following both tasks. Results: Dbh -/- mice virtually lacked MB and NS behaviors seen in control mice but did not differ in the elevated zero maze (EZM) model of general anxiety-like behavior. Pharmacological restoration of central NE synthesis in Dbh -/- mice completely rescued NS behavior, while NS and MB were suppressed in control mice by anti-adrenergic drugs. Expression of c-fos in the ACC was attenuated in Dbh -/- mice after MB and NS. Conclusion: These findings support a role for NE transmission to the ACC in the expression of stress-induced compulsive behaviors and suggest further evaluation of anti-adrenergic drugs for OCD is warranted.
... A recent study examining sleep duration, bedtime, and response inhibition demonstrated the same pattern of results (Nota et al., 2016b). Taken together, this may suggest that arousal systems and homeostatic sleep processes may underlie the relations between habitual sleep duration, sleep onset latency, and top-down control of attention Wulff, Gatti, Wettstein, & Foster, 2010); further study will continue to elucidate the processes involved (Kalanthroff et al., 2016;Nota, Schubert, & Coles, 2016a). ...
Article
Background and objectives: Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) is often associated with disruptions in sleep and circadian rhythms. Disruptions in sleep and circadian rhythms may deal a "second hit" to attentional control deficits. This study evaluated whether sleep and circadian rhythm disruptions are related to the top-down control of attention to negative stimuli in individuals with heightened repetitive negative thinking. Methods: Fifty-two community adults with high levels of transdiagnostic RNT and varying habitual sleep durations and bedtimes participated in a hybrid free-viewing and directed attention task using pairs of emotionally-evocative and neutral images while eye-tracking data were collected. Self-report and clinician-administered interviews regarding sleep were also collected. Results: Shorter habitual sleep duration was associated with more time looking at emotionally negative compared to neutral images during a free-viewing attention task and more difficulty disengaging attention from negative compared to neutral images during a directed attention task. In addition, longer sleep onset latencies were also associated with difficulty disengaging attention from negative stimuli. The relations between sleep and attention for positive images were not statistically significant. Limitations: A causal link between sleep and attentional control cannot be inferred from these cross-sectional data. The lack of a healthy control sample means that the relations between sleep disruption, attention, and emotional reactivity may not be unique to individuals with RNT. Conclusions: These findings suggest that sleep disruption may be associated with a specific impact on cognitive resources that are necessary for the top-down inhibitory control of attention to emotionally negative information.
Article
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms fluctuate throughout the day, but scientists are not sure what underlies these fluctuations. One factor which may explain how OCD symptoms wax and wane throughout the day is alertness. Increased alertness is associated with greater inhibitory control, a factor which plays a significant role in patients’ ability to overcome their OCD symptoms. The current study examined the relationship between chronotype (morningness/eveningness preference, a measure of alertness) and within-day OCD symptom severity fluctuations. We hypothesized that increased alertness leads to better inhibitory abilities and, therefore, reduced OCD symptoms. OCD Symptoms were measured through 7-days of monitoring in which participants were asked to retrospectively rate their symptoms at several timepoints throughout the day. Chronotype was measured using the Morningness/Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ). Consistent with our hypotheses, results revealed an interaction between chronotype and time of day, such that those with an eveningness preference tended to have worse symptoms in the morning, and vice versa. In addition, we also report novel findings regarding the effect of bedtime, sleep duration, and sleep quality on symptom severity the next day. Taken together, these findings suggest that alertness may modulate OCD symptom severity throughout the day such that individuals experience more severe symptoms during times of low alertness. The clinical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
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We propose that food-related uncertainty is but one of multiple cues that predicts harsh conditions and may activate “incentive hope.” An evolutionarily adaptive response to these would have been to shift to a behavioral-metabolic phenotype geared toward facing hardship. In modernity, this phenotype may lead to pathologies such as obesity and hoarding. Our perspective suggests a novel therapeutic approach.
Article
The goal of the present study was to examine if and how arousal can modulate response inhibition. Two competing hypotheses can be drawn from previous literature. One holds that alerting cues that elevate arousal should result in an impulsive response and therefore impair response inhibition. The other suggests that alerting enhances processing of salient events and can therefore enhance processing of a cue that indicates to withhold a response and improve response inhibition. In a stop-signal task, participants were required to withhold prepotent responses when a stop signal followed target onset. Abrupt alerting cues preceded the target in one half of the trials. The results showed that alerting improved response inhibition as indicated by shorter stop-signal reaction times following an alerting cue compared with a no-alerting condition. We conclude that modulation of low-level operations can influence what are considered to be higher cognitive functions to achieve optimal goal-directed behavior. However, we stress that such interactions should be treated cautiously as they do not always reflect direct links between lower and higher cognitive mechanisms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Two small, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single-dose, crossover studies found dextroamphetamine (d-amphetamine) 30 mg clearly superior to placebo in relieving symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We conducted a 5-week, double-blind, caffeine-controlled study to test the hypothesis that d-amphetamine, added after an adequate selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) trial, would be more effective than caffeine in reducing residual OCD symptoms of moderate or greater severity. Between August 2006 and February 2008, we enrolled adults with DSM-IV OCD and a Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) score of >or= 20 after >or= 12 weeks of adequate treatment with an SSRI or SNRI. Subjects were randomly assigned to double-blind d-amphetamine 30 mg/d or caffeine 300 mg/d added to their SSRI/SNRI and other medications. Responders (first week mean Y-BOCS score decrease of >or= 20%) entered the study's 4-week double-blind extension phase. We enrolled 24 subjects, 11 women and 13 men, with a mean (SD) age of 40 (13.2) years and mean baseline Y-BOCS scores of 26.5 (4.1) for the d-amphetamine group (n = 12) and 29.1 (4.0) for the caffeine group (n = 12). At the end of week 1, 6 of 12 d-amphetamine subjects (50%) and 7 of 12 caffeine subjects (58%) were responders. At week 5, the responders' mean Y-BOCS score decreases were, for the d-amphetamine group (last observation carried forward), 48% (range, 20%-80%); and, for the caffeine group, 55% (range, 27%-89%). Obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression improvement were independent. The double-blind remained intact. No subject discontinued the study due to side effects. Larger, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of both d-amphetamine and caffeine augmentation are needed in OCD subjects inadequately responsive to adequate doses of an SSRI or SNRI. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00363298.
Article
Historically, the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system has been implicated in arousal, but recent findings suggest that this system plays a more complex and specific role in the control of behavior than investigators previously thought. We review neurophysiological and modeling studies in monkey that support a new theory of LC-NE function. LC neurons exhibit two modes of activity, phasic and tonic. Phasic LC activation is driven by the outcome of task-related decision processes and is proposed to facilitate ensuing behaviors and to help optimize task performance (exploitation). When utility in the task wanes, LC neurons exhibit a tonic activity mode, associated with disengagement from the current task and a search for alternative behaviors (exploration). Monkey LC receives prominent, direct inputs from the anterior cingulate (ACC) and orbitofrontal cortices (OFC), both of which are thought to monitor task-related utility. We propose that these frontal areas produce the above patterns of LC activity to optimize utility on both short and long timescales.