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Shared neural basis of social and non-social reward deficits in chronic cocaine users


Tobler, Philippe N; Preller, Katrin H; Campbell-Meiklejohn, Daniel K; Kirschner, Matthias; Kraehenmann, Rainer; Stämpfli, Philipp; Herdener, Marcus; Seifritz, Erich; Quednow, Boris B (2016). Shared neural basis of social and non-social reward deficits in chronic cocaine users. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(6):1017-1025.

Abstract

Changed reward functions have been proposed as a core feature of stimulant addiction, typically observed as reduced neural responses to non-drug-related rewards. However, it was unclear yet how specific this deficit is for different types of non-drug rewards arising from social and non-social reinforcements. We used functional neuroimaging in cocaine users to investigate explicit social reward as modeled by agreement of music preferences with music experts. In addition, we investigated non-social reward as modeled by winning desired music pieces. The study included 17 chronic cocaine users and 17 matched stimulant-naive healthy controls. Cocaine users, compared with controls, showed blunted neural responses to both social and non-social reward. Activation differences were located in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex overlapping for both reward types and, thus, suggesting a non-specific deficit in the processing of non-drug rewards. Interestingly, in the posterior lateral orbitofrontal cortex, social reward responses of cocaine users decreased with the degree to which they were influenced by social feedback from the experts, a response pattern that was opposite to that observed in healthy controls. The present results suggest that cocaine users likely suffer from a generalized impairment in value representation as well as from an aberrant processing of social feedback.

Abstract

Changed reward functions have been proposed as a core feature of stimulant addiction, typically observed as reduced neural responses to non-drug-related rewards. However, it was unclear yet how specific this deficit is for different types of non-drug rewards arising from social and non-social reinforcements. We used functional neuroimaging in cocaine users to investigate explicit social reward as modeled by agreement of music preferences with music experts. In addition, we investigated non-social reward as modeled by winning desired music pieces. The study included 17 chronic cocaine users and 17 matched stimulant-naive healthy controls. Cocaine users, compared with controls, showed blunted neural responses to both social and non-social reward. Activation differences were located in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex overlapping for both reward types and, thus, suggesting a non-specific deficit in the processing of non-drug rewards. Interestingly, in the posterior lateral orbitofrontal cortex, social reward responses of cocaine users decreased with the degree to which they were influenced by social feedback from the experts, a response pattern that was opposite to that observed in healthy controls. The present results suggest that cocaine users likely suffer from a generalized impairment in value representation as well as from an aberrant processing of social feedback.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords:OFC; dopamine; drug dependence; fMRI; social cognition; social conformity
Language:English
Date:12 March 2016
Deposited On:27 Apr 2016 16:13
Last Modified:22 Sep 2017 13:28
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1749-5016
Additional Information:This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci first published online March 12, 2016 doi:10.1093/scan/nsw030 is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsw030.
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsw030
PubMed ID:26969866

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