This work was conducted at the Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology Laboratory and the Bio-Imaging Research Center at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
HUMAN NEUROIMAGING STUDIES
Dissociable brain signatures of choice conflict and immediate reward preferences in alcohol use disorders
Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Authors, Addiction Biology © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 19, Issue 4, pages 743–753, July 2014
How to Cite
Amlung, M., Sweet, L. H., Acker, J., Brown, C. L. and MacKillop, J. (2014), Dissociable brain signatures of choice conflict and immediate reward preferences in alcohol use disorders. Addiction Biology, 19: 743–753. doi: 10.1111/adb.12017
- Issue published online: 9 JUL 2014
- Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
- National Institutes of Health. Grant Numbers: K23 AA016936, P30 DA027827
- University of Georgia Research Foundation
- John & Mary Franklin Foundation
- Alcohol use disorders;
- delay discounting;
Impulsive delayed reward discounting (DRD) is an important behavioral process in alcohol use disorders (AUDs), reflecting incapacity to delay gratification. Recent work in neuroeconomics has begun to unravel the neural mechanisms supporting DRD, but applications of neuroeconomics in relation to AUDs have been limited. This study examined the neural mechanisms of DRD preferences in AUDs, with emphasis on dissociating activation patterns based on DRD choice type and level of cognitive conflict. Heavy drinking adult men with (n = 13) and without (n = 12) a diagnosis of an AUD completed a monetary DRD task during a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. Participant responses were coded based on choice type (impulsive versus restrained) and level of cognitive conflict (easy versus hard). AUD+ participants exhibited significantly more impulsive DRD decision-making. Significant activation during DRD was found in several decision-making regions, including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), insula, posterior parietal cortex (PPC), and posterior cingulate. An axis of cognitive conflict was also observed, with hard choices associated with anterior cingulate cortex and easy choices associated with activation in supplementary motor area. AUD+ individuals exhibited significant hyperactivity in regions associated with cognitive control (DLPFC) and prospective thought (PPC) and exhibited less task-related deactivation of areas associated with the brain's default network during DRD decisions. This study provides further clarification of the brain systems supporting DRD in general and in relation to AUDs.