Effects of reward and punishment on brain activations associated with inhibitory control in cigarette smokers
Article first published online: 12 JUL 2013
© 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 108, Issue 11, pages 1969–1978, November 2013
How to Cite
Luijten, M., O'Connor, D. A., Rossiter, S., Franken, I. H. A. and Hester, R. (2013), Effects of reward and punishment on brain activations associated with inhibitory control in cigarette smokers. Addiction, 108: 1969–1978. doi: 10.1111/add.12276
- Issue published online: 10 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 12 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 17 JUN 2013 03:35AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 22 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 10 NOV 2012
- Australian Research Council. Grant Number: DP1092852
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Grant Number: 628495
- inhibitory control;
- substance dependence
Background and aims
Susceptibility to use of addictive substances may result, in part, from a greater preference for an immediate small reward relative to a larger delayed reward or relative insensitivity to punishment. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study examined the neural basis of inhibiting an immediately rewarding stimulus to obtain a larger delayed reward in smokers. We also investigated whether punishment could modulate inhibitory control.
The Monetary Incentive Go/NoGo (MI-Go/NoGo) task was administered that provided three types of reward outcomes contingent upon inhibitory control performance over rewarding stimuli: inhibition failure was either followed by no monetary reward (neutral condition), a small monetary reward with immediate feedback (reward condition) or immediate monetary punishment (punishment condition). In the reward and punishment conditions, successful inhibitory control resulted in larger delayed rewards.
Community sample of smokers in the Melbourne (Australia) area.
Nineteen smokers were compared with 17 demographically matched non-smoking controls.
Accuracy, reaction times and brain activation associated with the MI-Go/NoGo task.
Smokers showed hyperactivation in the right insula (P < 0.01), inferior and middle frontal gyrus (P < 0.01), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (P = 0.001) and inferior parietal lobe (P < 0.01) both during inhibition of an immediately rewarding stimulus to obtain a larger delayed reward, and during inhibition of neutral stimuli. Group differences in brain activity were not significant in the punishment condition in the right insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, most probably as a result of increased activation in non-smoking controls.
Compared with non-smokers, smokers showed increased neural activation when resisting immediately rewarding stimuli and may be less sensitive to punishment as a strategy to increase control over rewarding stimuli.