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Model-based and model-free decisions in alcohol dependence

  • Background: Human and animal work suggests a shift from goal-directed to habitual decision-making in addiction. However, the evidence for this in human alcohol dependence is as yet inconclusive. Methods: Twenty-six healthy controls and 26 recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients underwent behavioral testing with a 2-step task designed to disentangle goal-directed and habitual response patterns. Results: Alcohol-dependent patients showed less evidence of goal-directed choices than healthy controls, particularly after losses. There was no difference in the strength of the habitual component. The group differences did not survive controlling for performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Task. Conclusion: Chronic alcohol use appears to selectively impair goal-directed function, rather than promoting habitual responding. It appears to do so particularly after nonrewards, and this may be mediated by the effects of alcohol on more general cognitive functions subserved by the prefrontal cortex.

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Author:Miriam Sebold, Lorenz Deserno, Stefan Nebe, Daniel Johannes Schad, Maria Garbusow, Claudia Haegele, Juergen Keller, Elisabeth Juenger, Norbert Kathmann, Michael Smolka, Michael Armin RappORCiDGND, Florian Schlagenhauf, Andreas Heinz, Quentin J. M. Huys
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1159/000362840
ISSN:0302-282X (print)
ISSN:1423-0224 (online)
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=25359492
Parent Title (English):Neuropsychobiology : international journal of experimental and clinical research in biological psychiatry, pharmacopsychiatry, Biological Psychology/Pharmacopsychology and Pharmacoelectroencephalography
Publisher:Karger
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2014
Year of Completion:2014
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:Alcohol dependence; Computational psychiatry; Decision-making; Dopamine; Reinforcement learning
Volume:70
Issue:2
Pagenumber:10
First Page:122
Last Page:131
Funder:German Research Foundation (DeutscheForschungsgemeinschaft) [HE2597/14-1, ZI1119/3-1, DFG RA1047/2-1]
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert