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Diminished frontostriatal activity during processing of monetary rewards and losses in pathological gambling.

Authors: Balodis, I.M., Kober, H., Worhunsky, P.D., Stevens, M.C., Pearlson, G.D. & Potenza, M.N.


Mesocorticolimbic neurocircuitry and impulsivity have both been implicated in pathological gambling (PG) and in reward processing. However, the neural underpinnings of specific phases of reward and loss processing in PG and their relationships to impulsivity remain only partially understood. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study examined brain activity associated with different phases of reward and loss processing in PG. Given an inverse relationship between ventral striatal recruitment during anticipation of monetary rewards and impulsivity in alcohol dependence, the current study explored whether a similar association might also be present in PG.
Fourteen adults with PG and 14 control comparison participants performed the Monetary Incentive Delay Task to identify brain activation changes associated with reward/loss prospect, reward/loss anticipation, and reward/loss notification. Impulsivity was assessed separately using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale.
Relative to the control comparison group, the PG group exhibited significantly reduced activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, insula, and ventral striatum during several phases, including the prospect and anticipation phases of both gains and losses. Activity in the ventral striatum correlated inversely with levels of impulsivity in PG participants, consistent with prior findings in alcohol dependence.
Relatively decreased activity in corticostriatal neurocircuitry during multiple phases of reward processing suggests consistent alterations in neurocircuitry underlying incentive valuation and loss prediction. Together with findings in alcohol dependence, these results suggest that impulsive tendencies in addictions may be reflected in diminished ventral striatal activations to reward anticipation and may represent targets for treatment development in addictions.

Hazardous Drinking and Dimensions of Impulsivity, Behavioral Approach, and Inhibition in Adult Men and Women.

Authors: Hamilton, K.R., Sinha, R. & Potenza, M.N.


Hazardous drinking is characterized by decisions to engage in excessive or risky patterns of alcohol consumption. Levels of impulsivity and behavioral approach and inhibition may differ in hazardous drinkers and nonhazardous drinkers. A comparison of the relative levels of dimensions of impulsivity and behavioral inhibition and approach in adult men and women hazardous and nonhazardous drinkers may inform treatment and prevention efforts.
In the present research, 466 men and women from a community sample were administered the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), the Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Approach System (BIS/BAS) scale, and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, version 11 (BIS-11). Relations among the dimensions of these constructs were examined using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), with age and race as covariates.
There were main effects of hazardous drinking on all 3 dimensions of impulsivity, the behavioral inhibition system, and the behavioral activation system Reward Responsiveness, and Fun-Seeking components, with hazardous drinkers scoring higher than nonhazardous drinkers.
This research provides a better understanding of the manner in which impulsivity and behavioral inhibition and approach tendencies relate to hazardous alcohol use in men and women. The present results have implications for alcohol-related prevention and treatment strategies for adult men and women.
Other Publications

Other Publications


Graminski, G.F., Jayawickreme, C.K., Potenza, M.N. & Lerner, M.R.

Pigment dispersion in frog melanophores can be induced by a phorbol ester or stimulation of a recombinant receptor that activates phospholipase C. The Journal of biological chemistry268, 5957-5964 (1993).

Lerner, M.R., Potenza, M.N., Graminski, G.F., McClintock, T., Jayawickreme, C.K. & Karne, S.

A new tool for investigating G protein-coupled receptors. Ciba Foundation symposium179, 76-84; discussion 84-77 (1993).

McClintock, T.S., Graminski, G.F., Potenza, M.N., Jayawickreme, C.K., Roby-Shemkovitz, A. & Lerner, M.R.

Functional expression of recombinant G-protein-coupled receptors monitored by video imaging of pigment movement in melanophores. Analytical biochemistry209, 298-305 (1993).

Potenza, M., Bowser, R., Muller, H. & Novick, P.

SEC6 encodes an 85 kDa soluble protein required for exocytosis in yeast. Yeast8, 549-558 (1992).

Potenza, M.N. & Lerner, M.R.

A rapid quantitative bioassay for evaluating the effects of ligands upon receptors that modulate cAMP levels in a melanophore cell line. Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society5, 372-378 (1992).

Potenza, M.N. & Lerner, M.R.

A recombinant vaccinia virus infects Xenopus melanophores. Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society4, 186-192 (1991).

Potenza, M.N. & Lerner, M.R.

Characterization of a serotonin receptor endogenous to frog melanophores. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's archives of pharmacology349, 11-19 (1994).

Potenza, M.N., Gold, S.J., Roby-Shemkowitz, A., Lerner, M.R. & Nestler, E.J.

Effects of regulators of G protein-signaling proteins on the functional response of the mu-opioid receptor in a melanophore-based assay. The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics291, 482-491 (1999).

Potenza, M.N., Graminski, G.F. & Lerner, M.R.

A method for evaluating the effects of ligands upon Gs protein-coupled receptors using a recombinant melanophore-based bioassay. Analytical biochemistry206, 315-322 (1992).

Potenza, M.N., Graminski, G.F., Schmauss, C. & Lerner, M.R.

Functional expression and characterization of human D2 and D3 dopamine receptors. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience14, 1463-1476 (1994).

Potenza, M.N., Holmes, J.P., Kanes, S.J. & McDougle, C.J.

Olanzapine treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with pervasive developmental disorders: an open-label pilot study. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology19, 37-44 (1999).

Potenza, M.N., Steinberg, M.A., McLaughlin, S.D., Rounsaville, B.J. & O'Malley, S.S.

Illegal behaviors in problem gambling: analysis of data from a gambling helpline. The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law28, 389-403 (2000).

Rahman, Z., Gold, S.J., Potenza, M.N., Cowan, C.W., Ni, Y.G., He, W., Wensel, T.G. & Nestler, E.J.

Cloning and characterization of RGS9-2: a striatal-enriched alternatively spliced product of the RGS9 gene. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience19, 2016-2026 (1999).

Weiss, E.L., Potenza, M.N., McDougle, C.J. & Epperson, C.N.

Olanzapine addition in obsessive-compulsive disorder refractory to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: an open-label case series. The Journal of clinical psychiatry60, 524-527 (1999).