Neural Correlates of Alcohol Approach Bias in Alcohol Addiction: the Spirit is Willing but the Flesh is Weak for Spirits.
Neuropsychopharmacology, September 2013
C E Wiers, C Stelzel, S Q Park, C K Gawron, V U Ludwig, S Gutwinski, A Heinz, J Lindenmeyer, R W Wiers, H Walter, F Bermpohl
Behavioral studies have shown an alcohol-approach bias in alcohol-dependent patients: the automatic tendency to faster approach than avoid alcohol compared with neutral cues, which has been associated with craving and relapse. Although this is a well-studied psychological phenomenon, little is known about the brain processes underlying automatic action tendencies in addiction. We examined 20 alcohol-dependent patients and 17 healthy controls with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), while performing an implicit approach-avoidance task. Participants pushed and pulled pictorial cues of alcohol and soft-drink beverages, according to a content-irrelevant feature of the cue (landscape/portrait). The critical fMRI contrast regarding the alcohol-approach bias was defined as (approach alcohol>avoid alcohol)>(approach soft drink>avoid soft drink). This was reversed for the avoid-alcohol contrast: (avoid alcohol>approach alcohol)>(avoid soft drink>approach soft drink). In comparison with healthy controls, alcohol-dependent patients had stronger behavioral approach tendencies for alcohol cues than for soft-drink cues. In the approach, alcohol fMRI contrast patients showed larger blood-oxygen-level-dependent responses in the nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex, regions involved in reward and motivational processing. In alcohol-dependent patients, alcohol-craving scores were positively correlated with activity in the amygdala for the approach-alcohol contrast. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was not activated in the avoid-alcohol contrast in patients vs controls. Our data suggest that brain regions that have a key role in reward and motivation are associated with the automatic alcohol-approach bias in alcohol-dependent patients.
|Members of the public||2||100%|
|Iran, Islamic Republic of||2||3%|
|Readers by professional status||Count||As %|
|Student > Ph. D. Student||25||33%|
|Student > Master||12||16%|
|Readers by discipline||Count||As %|
|Medicine and Dentistry||11||15%|
|Agricultural and Biological Sciences||4||5%|