Anticipatory stress restores decision-making deficits in heavy drinkers by increasing sensitivity to losses

Gullo, Matthew J. and Stieger, Adam A. (2011) Anticipatory stress restores decision-making deficits in heavy drinkers by increasing sensitivity to losses. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 117 2-3: 204-210. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.02.002

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Author Gullo, Matthew J.
Stieger, Adam A.
Title Anticipatory stress restores decision-making deficits in heavy drinkers by increasing sensitivity to losses
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Dependence   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0376-8716
1879-0046
Publication date 2011-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.02.002
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 117
Issue 2-3
Start page 204
End page 210
Total pages 7
Place of publication Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Substance abusers are characterized by hypersensitivity to reward. This leads to maladaptive decisions generally, as well as those on laboratory-based decision-making tasks, such as the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). Negative affect has also been shown to disrupt the decision-making of healthy individuals, particularly decisions made under uncertainty. Neuropsychological theories of learning, including the Somatic Marker Hypothesis (SMH), argue this occurs by amplifying affective responses to punishment. In substance abusers, this might serve to rebalance their sensitivity to reward with punishment, and improve decision-making.
Methods: Before completing the IGT, 45 heavy and 47 light drinkers were randomly assigned to a control condition, or led to believe they had to give a stressful public speech. IGT performance was analyzed with the Expectancy-Valence (EV) learning model. Working memory and IQ were also assessed.
Results: Heavy drinkers made more disadvantageous decisions than light drinkers, due to higher attention to gains (versus losses) on the IGT. Anticipatory stress increased participants’ attention to losses, significantly improving heavy drinkers’ decision-making.
Conclusions: Anticipatory stress increased attention to losses, effectively restoring decision-making deficits in heavy drinkers by rebalancing their reward sensitivity with punishment sensitivity.
Keyword Alcohol
Addiction
Decision-making
IGT
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 16 Feb 2012, 08:14:03 EST by Matthew Gullo on behalf of Centre for Youth Substance Abuse