Novelty seeking behaviour in Parkinson's disease

Neuropsychologia. 2011 Jul;49(9):2483-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.04.026. Epub 2011 May 4.


Novelty seeking can be a positive trait leading to creativity and innovation, but it is also related to increased risk of damaging addictive behaviour. We have assessed novelty seeking with a three armed bandit task, in which novel stimuli were occasionally introduced, replacing choice options from which the participants had been choosing. This allowed us to assess whether or not they would be prone to selecting novel stimuli. We tested 25 non impulsive patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and 27 PD patients with impulsive compulsive behaviours (ICBs). Both patient groups were examined "on" and "off" dopaminergic medication in a counterbalanced order and their behaviour was compared with 24 healthy controls. We found that PD patients with ICBs were significantly more prone to choose novel options than either non impulsive PD patients or controls, regardless of medication status. Our findings suggest that attraction to novelty is a personality trait in all PD patients with ICBs which is independent of medication status.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Compulsive Behavior / complications
  • Compulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Female
  • Games, Experimental
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / complications
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Male
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reference Values
  • Reinforcement, Psychology


  • Dopamine Agonists