Impulsivity, Compulsivity, and Habit: The Role of Orbitofrontal Cortex Revisited

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Biological psychiatry (Impact Factor: 10.26). 03/2008; 63(3):253-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.11.014
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Available from: Mary M Torregrossa, Nov 06, 2014
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    • "From a neuropsychological viewpoint, imaging studies have shown that the focused attention DL task involves inferior parietal and prefrontal cortex (PFC), indicating the recruitment of a cortical attentional network (Hugdahl et al. 2000; Jäncke et al. 2001; Jäncke and Shah 2002) and in line with the known role of the PFC in executive functions (Banfield et al. 2004; Fellows 2004; Stuss and Levine 2002). As findings from neuroimaging and lesion studies support the idea that different components of impulsivity are largely associated with the PFC (Bechara 2005; Bechara et al. 2000a; Kalenscher et al. 2006; Berlin et al. 2004; Gansler et al. 2011; Horn et al. 2003; McHugh and Wood 2008; Torregrossa et al. 2008), DL is ideal for studying cognitive control functions related to trait impulsivity, such as response inhibition and conflict resolution. The aim of the current study was to examine the role of trait impulsivity in attention switching and additional measures of cognitive control, namely conflict resolution and response inhibition. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between trait impulsivity and cognitive control, as measured by the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) and a focused attention dichotic listening to words task, respectively. In the task, attention was manipulated in two attention conditions differing in their cognitive control demands: one in which attention was directed to one ear at a time for a whole block of trials (blocked condition) and another in which attention was switched pseudo-randomly between the two ears from trial to trial (mixed condition). Results showed that high impulsivity participants exhibited more false alarm and intrusion errors as well as a lesser ability to distinguish between stimuli in the mixed condition, as compared to low impulsivity participants. In the blocked condition, the performance levels of the two groups were comparable with respect to these measures. In addition, total BIS scores were correlated with intrusions and laterality index in the mixed but not the blocked condition. The findings suggest that high impulsivity individuals may be less prone to attentional difficulties when cognitive load is relatively low. In contrast, when attention switching is involved, high impulsivity is associated with greater difficulty in inhibiting responses and resolving cognitive conflict than is low impulsivity, as reflected in error prone information processing. The conclusion is that trait impulsivity in a non-clinical population is manifested more strongly when attention switching is required than during maintained attention. This may have important implications for the conceptualization and treatment of impulsivity in both non-clinical and clinical populations.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Cognitive Processing
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    • "Pathologic impulsivity and compulsivity are associated with various psychiatric and personality disorders (Pattij and Vanderschuren, 2008; Torregrossa et al., 2008), including schizophrenia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and drug abuse. While impulsivity and compulsivity represent distinct neurocognitive functions, they are often comorbid, suggesting causal links between these behaviors and overlaps in the responsible circuits (Belin et al., 2008; Torregrossa et al., 2008; Fineberg et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The habenular complex linking forebrain and midbrain structures is subdivided into the medial (mHb) and the lateral nuclei (lHb). The mHb is characterized by the expression of specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptor isoforms and the release of acetylcholine to the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN), the sole output region of the mHb. The specific function of this circuit, however, is poorly understood. Here we generated transgenic mice in which mHb cells were selectively ablated postnatally. These lesions led to large reductions in acetylcholine levels within the IPN. The mutant mice exhibited abnormalities in a wide range of behavioral domains. They tended to be hyperactive during the early night period and were maladapted when repeatedly exposed to new environments. Mutant mice also showed a high rate of premature responses in the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), indicating impulsive and compulsive behavior. Additionally, mice also exhibited delay and effort aversion in a decision-making test, deficits in spatial memory, a subtle increase in anxiety levels, and attenuated sensorimotor gating. IntelliCage studies under social housing conditions confirmed hyperactivity, environmental maladaptation, and impulsive/compulsive behavior, delay discounting, deficits in long-term spatial memory, and reduced flexibility in complex learning paradigms. In 5-CSRTT and adaptation tasks, systemic administration of nicotine slowed down nose-poke reaction and enhanced adaptation in control but not mutant mice. These findings demonstrate that the mHb-IPN pathway plays a crucial role in inhibitory control and cognition-dependent executive functions.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
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    • "Impulsivity is a multifaceted personality construct, which can be defined as a predisposition toward rapid, unplanned reactions to internal or external stimuli, with diminished regard to the negative consequences of these reactions to the impulsive individual or to others (Chamberlain and Sahakian 2007; Potenza 2007). In the last decade, the role of impulsivity in psychopathology has received increasing attention in both preclinical and clinical research (Chamberlain and Sahakian 2007; Dalley et al. 2008; Torregrossa et al. 2008). It has been proposed that impulsivity is an underlying multidimensional personality trait, which plays an important role in the vulnerability to certain psychiatric disorders, such as addiction, eating disorders, mania, personality disorders, attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, and obsessive– compulsive disorder (Belin et al. 2008; Cassin and von Ranson 2005; Crews and Boettiger 2009; Evenden 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Existing animal models of impulsivity frequently use food restriction to increase subjects' motivation. In addition, behavioral tasks that assess impulsive choice typically involve the use of reinforcers with dissimilar caloric content. These factors represent energy-homeostasis limitations, which may confound the interpretation of results and limit the applicability of these models. This study was aimed at validating face and convergent validities of a modified adjusting delay task, which assesses impulsive choice between isocaloric reinforcers in ad libitum fed rats. Male Wistar rats (n = 18) were used to assess the preferredness and reinforcing efficacy of a "supersaccharin" solution (1.5% glucose/0.4% saccharin) over a 1.5% glucose solution. A separate group of rats (n = 24) was trained in a modified adjusting delay task, which involved repeated choice between the glucose solution delivered immediately and the supersaccharin solution delivered after a variable delay. To pharmacologically validate the task, the effects of the 5-HT(2A/C) receptor agonist (±)-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane [(±)-DOI] and the 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist (±)-8-hydroxy-2-(dipropylamino)tetralin hydrobromide [(±)-8-OH-DPAT] on impulsive choice were then evaluated. Supersaccharin was highly reinforcing and uniformly preferred over the glucose solution by all subjects. Rats quickly learned the task, and impulsivity was a very stable and consistent trait. DOI and 8-OH-DPAT significantly and dose dependently increased impulsive choice in this modified adjusting delay task. We validated a rodent task of impulsive choice, which eliminates typical energy-homeostasis limitations and, therefore, opens new avenues in the study of impulsivity in preclinical feeding and obesity research.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Psychopharmacology
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