Are all drug addicts impulsive? Effects of antisociality and extent of multidrug use on cognitive and motor impulsivity

Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois - Chicago, Chicago, IL 60622, USA.
Addictive Behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.76). 01/2008; 32(12):3071-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2007.04.017
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this investigation was to examine the influence of antisociality and extent of multidrug use on cognitive and motor impulsivity among substance-dependent individuals (SDIs) that used primarily cocaine and/or heroin. One hundred currently abstinent male SDIs participated in the study. Extent of multidrug use and degree of antisociality, assessed with the Socialization Scale of the California Psychological Inventory (So-CPI), were used to classify participants into one of four groups: high antisocial/low multidrug use, high antisocial/high multidrug use, low antisocial/low multidrug use, and low antisocial/high multidrug use. All subjects completed the Iowa Gambling Task to assess cognitive impulsivity and the Stroop Task to measure motor impulsivity. Contrary to expectations, antisociality was associated with more advantageous performance on the Iowa Gambling Task, independent of extent of multidrug use. In contrast, greater multidrug use was associated with general psychomotor slowing on the Stroop Task. Results suggest that a subclinical form of antisociality may have a paradoxically facilitating effect on decision-making and cognitive impulsivity among SDIs.

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Available from: Jasmin Vassileva
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    • "Decision-making is one of the neurocognitive domains on which SDI are commonly impaired. It is typically indexed in the laboratory with tasks that simulate real-life decision-making such as the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) (Bechara et al., 1994), on which SDI often select choices that yield high immediate gains but have higher future losses (Grant et al., 2000; Bechara et al., 2001; Bolla et al., 2003; Bechara and Martin, 2004; Gonzalez et al., 2007; Vassileva et al., 2007a; Verdejo-Garcia et al., 2007a). Decisionmaking deficits among SDI are of immediate practical concern, in light of their associations with HIV risk behaviors (Gonzalez et al., 2005) and clinical outcomes such as abstinence (Passetti et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Substance dependent individuals (SDI) often exhibit decision-making deficits; however, it remains unclear whether the nature of the underlying decision-making processes is the same in users of different classes of drugs and whether these deficits persist after discontinuation of drug use. We used computational modeling to address these questions in a unique sample of relatively “pure” amphetamine-dependent (N = 38) and heroin-dependent individuals (N = 43) who were currently in protracted abstinence, and in 48 healthy controls (HC). A Bayesian model comparison technique, a simulation method, and parameter recovery tests were used to compare three cognitive models: (1) Prospect Valence Learning with decay reinforcement learning rule (PVL-DecayRI), (2) PVL with delta learning rule (PVL-Delta), and (3) Value-Plus-Perseverance (VPP) model based on Win-Stay-Lose-Switch (WSLS) strategy. The model comparison results indicated that the VPP model, a hybrid model of reinforcement learning (RL) and a heuristic strategy of perseverance had the best post-hoc model fit, but the two PVL models showed better simulation and parameter recovery performance. Computational modeling results suggested that overall all three groups relied more on RL than on a WSLS strategy. Heroin users displayed reduced loss aversion relative to HC across all three models, which suggests that their decision-making deficits are longstanding (or pre-existing) and may be driven by reduced sensitivity to loss. In contrast, amphetamine users showed comparable cognitive functions to HC with the VPP model, whereas the second best-fitting model with relatively good simulation performance (PVL-DecayRI) revealed increased reward sensitivity relative to HC. These results suggest that some decision-making deficits persist in protracted abstinence and may be mediated by different mechanisms in opiate and stimulant users.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Frontiers in Psychology
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    • "The IGT was developed originally to capture deficits in decision-making among persons with focal lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex [11], [12] who displayed seeming indifference to the long-term consequences of their actions, as evidenced by excessive choices of immediately attractive but ultimately disadvantageous outcomes. Substance dependent individuals typically show impaired performance on this task [7], [8], [13]–[16]. Recently, decision-making has received increased attention in the HIV literature [5], [6], [17], [18], in large part because of its association with behaviors that increase risk for HIV infection and transmission [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Drug users and HIV-seropositive individuals often show deficits in decision-making; however the nature of these deficits is not well understood. Recent studies have employed computational modeling approaches to disentangle the psychological processes involved in decision-making. Although such approaches have been used successfully with a number of clinical groups including drug users, no study to date has used computational modeling to examine the effects of HIV on decision-making. In this study, we use this approach to investigate the effects of HIV and drug use on decision-making processes in women, who remain a relatively understudied population. Fifty-seven women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) were classified into one of four groups based on their HIV status and history of crack cocaine and/or heroin drug use (DU): HIV+/DU+ (n = 14); HIV+/DU- (n = 17); HIV-/DU+ (n = 14); and HIV-/DU- (n = 12). We measured decision-making with the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and examined behavioral performance and model parameters derived from the best-fitting computational model of the IGT. Although groups showed similar behavioral performance, HIV and DU exhibited differential relationship to model parameters. Specifically, DU was associated with compromised learning/memory and reduced loss aversion, whereas HIV was associated with reduced loss aversion, but was not related to other model parameters. Results reveal that HIV and DU have differential associations with distinct decision-making processes in women. This study contributes to a growing line of literature which shows that different psychological processes may underlie similar behavioral performance in various clinical groups and may be associated with distinct functional outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "PG participants were significantly slower on the Go/NoGo performance and slower and less accurate on the Stroop task (see Logan (1980) for discussion of mechanism of response slowness during the Stroop task). For example, the slow rate of performance in the Go/NoGo and the Stroop tasks seen in our PG patients is consistent with previous data regarding impulsive participants who show excessive slowness of performance on the inhibition tasks (Exposito and Andres-Pueyo, 1997; Keilp et al., 2005; Vassileva et al., 2007). It has been proposed that the response slowness in the situations which present a conflict between automatic and voluntary behavior might result from a deficit in the organization of stimulus-response schemata (Stuss et al., 2005) or impaired remapping process (van Holst et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: This work investigates whether inhibition impairments influence the decision making process in pathological gamblers (PGs). The PG (N=51) subjects performed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT as the measure of the decision making process) and two tests of inhibition: the Stroop (interference inhibition), and the Go/NoGo (response inhibition), and were compared with demographically matched healthy subjects (N=57). Performance in the IGT block 1 and block 2 did not differ between the groups, but the differences between the PGs and healthy controls began to be significant in block 3, block 4 and block 5. PGs learned the IGT task more slowly than the healthy controls and had non-optimal outcomes (more disadvantageous choices). Impaired IGT performance in PGs was not related to an inhibition ability measured by the Stroop (interference response time) and the Go/NoGo (number of commission errors) parameters. Further controlled studies with neuroimaging techniques may help to clarify the particular brain mechanisms underlying the impaired decision making process in PGs.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Psychiatry Research
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