Reduced punishment sensitivity in neural systems of behavior monitoring in impulsive individuals

Rice University, Department of Psychology, MS-25, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA.
Neuroscience Letters (Impact Factor: 2.03). 04/2006; 397(1-2):130-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2005.12.003
Source: PubMed


This study measured the response-locked event-related potential during a flanker task with performance-based monetarily rewarding and punishing trials in 37 undergraduate students separated into high- and low-impulsive groups based on a median split on self-reported Barrett Impulsiveness Scale. The high-impulsive group had a smaller medial frontal error-related negativity (ERN) on punishment trials than the low-impulsive group. The medial prefrontal neural system of behavior monitoring, indexed by the ERN, appears less sensitive to punishment signals in normal impulsivity. This reduced punishment sensitivity in impulsivity, a personality variation associated with several mental and personality disorders including ADHD and substance abuse may be related to the tendency to select short-term rewards despite potential long-term negative consequences in these individuals.

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    • "Luijten et al. (2011) reported reduced ERN in smokers after smoking cues exposure, however, other studies using ERN paradigms without smoking cues found no significant differences between smokers and non-smokers with respect to ERN amplitude (Franken et al., 2010; Rass et al., 2014). In a study using reward and punishment contingencies (Potts et al., 2006), smokers showed ERN reduction but only on punishment-motivated trials. Thus, the question of whether and how error monitoring is related to tobacco use and dependence warrants further investigation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Deficits in self-regulation of behavior can play an important role in the initiation of substance use and progression to regular use and dependence. One of the distinct component processes of self-regulation is error monitoring, i.e. detection of a conflict between the intended and actually executed action. Here we examined whether a neural marker of error monitoring, Error-Related Negativity (ERN), predicts future initiation of tobacco use. ERN was assessed in a prospective longitudinal sample at ages 12, 14, and 16 using a flanker task. ERN amplitude showed a significant increase with age during adolescence. Reduced ERN amplitude at ages 14 and 16, as well as slower rate of its developmental changes significantly predicted initiation of tobacco use by age 18 but not transition to regular tobacco use or initiation of marijuana and alcohol use. The present results suggest that attenuated development of the neural mechanisms of error monitoring during adolescence can increase the risk for initiation of tobacco use. The present results also suggest that the role of distinct neurocognitive component processes involved in behavioral regulation may be limited to specific stages of addiction. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
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    • "In line with previous results (Martin & Potts, 2009; Potts et al., 2006), our main hypothesis was that HI participants would show an overall decreased Ne amplitude as compared to LI participants. Based on the premise that our manipulation of task difficulty induces more effortful control to be allocated in order to maintain performance, we assumed that the amplitude of Ne would increase with task difficulty level in the LI group because of increased self-monitoring imposed by task requirements, whereas HI participants would not show such effect. "
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    ABSTRACT: High impulsive individuals have problems with self-monitoring and learning from their mistakes. The aim of this study was to investigate whether error processing is impaired in high trait impulsivity, and how it is modulated by the task difficulty. Adults were classified as high (n = 10) and low (n = 10) impulsive participants based on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and they participated in a modified flanker task. The flanker trials had three levels of task difficulty manipulated by visual degradation of the stimuli. We measured RTs and ERP components (Ne, Pe) related to erroneous responses. Low impulsive participants responded significantly faster than high impulsive participants. The two groups did not differ in accuracy. The Ne amplitude was smaller in high than in low impulsivity in case of medium and high difficulty levels, but not at low difficulty level. However, the groups did not differ either in the amplitude or in the latency of Pe. We suggest that trait impulsivity is characterized by impaired error detection.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Psychophysiology
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    • "Boes et al. (2009) add further evidence in a study demonstrating that the size of the VMPFC varied in boys who differed in rated motor impulsivity and non-planning behavior. As well, Potts et al. (2006) provide evidence that impulsive behavior is associated with reduced punishment sensitivity and a lack of control. "
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    ABSTRACT: With the emergence of new technologies, in particular the Internet, the opportunity for impulsive purchases have expanded enormously. In this research-in-progress, we report the current status of an fMRI-project in which we investigated differences between neural processes in the brains of impulsive and non-impulsive shoppers during the trustworthiness evaluation of online offers. Both our behavioral and fMRI data provide evidence that the impulsiveness of individuals can exert significant influence on the evaluation of online offers, and can potentially affect subsequent purchase behavior. We show that impulsive individuals evaluate trustworthy and untrustworthy offers differently than do non-impulsive individuals. With respect to brain activation, both experimental groups (i.e., impulsive, non-impulsive) exhibit similar neural activation tendencies, but differences exist in the Magnitude of activation Patterns in brain regions that are closely related to trust and decision making, such as the DLPFC, the insula cortex, and the caudate nucleus.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Dec 2014
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