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Behavioral and neural signatures of reduced updating of alternative options in alcohol-dependent patients during flexible decision-making

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/persons/resource/persons98460

Reiter,  Andrea
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Leipzig, Germany;
Lifespan Developmental Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, TU Dresden, Germany;

/persons/resource/persons104604

Deserno,  Lorenz
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany;
Department of Neurology, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany;

Heinze,  Hans-Jochen
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Neurology, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany;
Department of Behavioral Neurology, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany;

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Schlagenhauf,  Florian
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany;

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Citation

Reiter, A., Deserno, L., Kallert, T., Heinze, H.-J., Heinz, A., & Schlagenhauf, F. (2016). Behavioral and neural signatures of reduced updating of alternative options in alcohol-dependent patients during flexible decision-making. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(43), 10935-10948. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4322-15.2016.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-8261-B
Abstract
Addicted individuals continue substance use despite the knowledge of harmful consequences and often report having no choice but to
consume. Computational psychiatry accounts have linked this clinical observation to difficulties in making flexible and goal-directed
decisions in dynamic environments via consideration of potential alternative choices. To probe this in alcohol-dependent patients
(
n

43) versus healthy volunteers (
n

35), human participants performed an anticorrelated decision-making task during functional
neuroimaging. Via computational modeling, we investigated behavioral and neural signatures of inference regarding the alternative
option. While healthy control subjects exploited the anticorrelated structure of the task to guide decision-making, alcohol-dependent
patients were relatively better explained by a model-free strategy due to reduced inference on the alternative option after punishment.
Whereas model-free prediction error signals were preserved, alcohol-dependent patients exhibited blunted medial prefrontal signatures
of inference on the alternative option. This reduction was associated with patients’ behavioral deficit in updating the alternative choice
option and their obsessive-compulsive drinking habits. All results remained significant when adjusting for potential confounders (e.g.,
neuropsychological measures and gray matter density). A disturbed integration of alternative choice options implemented by the medial
prefrontal cortex appears to be one important explanation for the puzzling question of why addicted individuals continue drug consump-
tion despite negative consequences.