Neurocognitive deficits in male alcoholics: An ERP/sLORETA analysis of the N2 component in an equal probability Go/NoGo task

Henri Begleiter Neurodynamics Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Box 1203, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA.
Biological psychology (Impact Factor: 3.4). 01/2012; 89(1):170-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.10.009
Source: PubMed


In alcoholism research, studies concerning time-locked electrophysiological aspects of response inhibition have concentrated mainly on the P3 component of the event-related potential (ERP). The objective of the present study was to investigate the N2 component of the ERP to elucidate possible brain dysfunction related to the motor response and its inhibition using a Go/NoGo task in alcoholics. The sample consisted of 78 abstinent alcoholic males and 58 healthy male controls. The N2 peak was compared across group and task conditions. Alcoholics showed significantly reduced N2 peak amplitudes compared to normal controls for Go as well as NoGo task conditions. Control subjects showed significantly larger NoGo than Go N2 amplitudes at frontal regions, whereas alcoholics did not show any differences between task conditions at frontal regions. Standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography analysis (sLORETA) indicated that alcoholics had significantly lower current density at the source than control subjects for the NoGo condition at bilateral anterior prefrontal regions, whereas the differences between groups during the Go trials were not statistically significant. Furthermore, NoGo current density across both groups revealed significantly more activation in bilateral anterior cingulate cortical (ACC) areas, with the maximum activation in the right cingulate regions. However, the magnitude of this difference was much less in alcoholics compared to control subjects. These findings suggest that alcoholics may have deficits in effortful processing during the motor response and its inhibition, suggestive of possible frontal lobe dysfunction.

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    • "In humans, neural substrates of response inhibition have been studied using various types of Go/NoGo tasks that require a speeded motor response to a Go stimulus and withholding a response when a NoGo stimulus is presented. Studies using event related brain potentials (ERPs) have identified various neuroelectric components that discriminate between Go and NoGo conditions and purportedly reflect activation of distinct functional networks involved in response execution and inhibition (Albert et al. , 2013, Bekker et al. , 2005, Falkenstein, 2006, Jonkman, 2006, Jonkman et al. , 2003, Jonkman et al. , 2007, Kirmizi-Alsan et al. , 2006, Lavric et al. , 2004, Nieuwenhuis et al. , 2004, Nieuwenhuis et al. , 2003, Pandey et al. , 2012, Smith et al. , 2007, 2008, van Veen and Carter, 2002). The vast majority of studies have implicated N2 and P3 components as reflecting different aspects and temporal features of inhibitory processing in healthy normal subjects as well as reflecting dysfunction in these processes in subjects with several neurological and psychiatric conditions, including alcoholism (Bekker, Kenemans, 2005, Falkenstein, 2006, Kamarajan et al. , 2004, 2005a, Kamarajan et al. , 2005b, Kirmizi-Alsan, Bayraktaroglu, 2006, Munro et al. , 2007, Nieuwenhuis, Yeung, 2004, Nieuwenhuis, Yeung, 2003, Smith et al. , 2006, Smith, Johnstone, 2007, 2008). "
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