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Controlled Clinical Trial
. 2015 Feb;40(3):614-21.
doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.209. Epub 2014 Aug 20.

Alcohol-induced Changes in Conflict Monitoring and Error Detection as Predictors of Alcohol Use in Late Adolescence

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Controlled Clinical Trial

Alcohol-induced Changes in Conflict Monitoring and Error Detection as Predictors of Alcohol Use in Late Adolescence

Ozlem Korucuoglu et al. Neuropsychopharmacology. .
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Abstract

Adolescence is a vulnerable period for the development of substance use and related problems. Understanding how exposure to drugs influences the adolescent brain could reveal mechanisms underlying risk for addiction later in life. In the current study, 87 adolescents (16-20-year olds; the local legal drinking age was16, allowing the inclusion of younger subjects than usually possible) underwent EEG measurements during a Go/No-Go task with and without alcohol cues; after placebo and a low dose of alcohol (0.45 g/kg). Conflict monitoring and error detection processes were investigated with the N2 and the error-related negativity (ERN) ERP components. Participants were followed-up after 6 months to assess changes in alcohol use. The NoGo-N2 was larger for alcohol cues and acute alcohol decreased the amplitude of the NoGo-N2 for alcohol cues. ERN amplitude was blunted for alcohol cues. Acute alcohol decreased the amplitude of the ERN, specifically for control cues. Furthermore, the differences in ERN for alcohol cues between the placebo and alcohol conditions predicted alcohol use 6 months later: subjects who showed stronger blunting of the ERN after acute alcohol were more likely to return to more moderate drinking patterns. These results suggest that cues signalling reward opportunities might activate a go-response mode and larger N2 (detection of increased conflict) for these cues might be necessary for inhibition. The ERN results suggest a deficiency in the monitoring system for alcohol cues. Finally, a lack of alcohol-induced deterioration of error monitoring for cues with high salience might be a vulnerability factor for alcohol abuse in adolescents.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Schematic representation of the alcohol-related Go/NoGo Task. Subjects were presented with pictures of beverages in a bottle or in a glass. The task consisted of blocks with sets of either alcohol or soft drink pictures. In the Go trials, a right button response was required for the pictures of a beverage in a bottle. In the NoGo trials, when the picture of a beverage in a glass was presented, subjects were required to withhold their responses. The task consisted of 10 blocks, with neutral and alcohol blocks alternating. Each stimulus was presented for 200 ms, followed by 800 ms and 1000 ms of ITI for go and no-go trials, respectively.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Behavioral results for hit rates (left side), false alarm rates (middle), and RT (right side). Hit rates were lower in alcohol condition for neutral beverage images. False alarm rates were lower for neutral beverage images. RTs for trials with commission errors and correct Go responses were shorter in the placebo condition. Alc, alcohol; Pla, placebo; Pla Correct, Correct go trials in the placebo condition; *p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.005, ****p<0.001.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Stimulus-locked N2 (left side) for trials with correct responses and response-locked ERN for trials with error responses (right side) at Fz. Stimulus and response onset occurred at 0 ms. The NoGo-N2 for the Alcohol Beverage Images was larger than the Neutral Beverage Images in both placebo and alcohol conditions and acute alcohol decreased the amplitude of NoGo-N2 only for the Alcohol Beverage Images (left side). The ERN was smaller in the alcohol than the placebo condition. Acute alcohol decreased the ERN only for the Neutral Beverage Images (right side). Alc. Bev. Ima, alcohol beverage images; Neu. Bev. Ima, neutral beverage images; *p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.005, ****p<0.001.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Hierarchical multiple regression analysis for variables predicting AUDIT at 6-month follow-up (n=59) (left side). The correlation between change in AUDIT scores (AUDIT follow-up, last 90 days—AUDIT baseline, last 90 days), the ERN contrast (Alcohol—Placebo) for the Alcohol (upper, right) and Neutral Beverage Images (lower, right). AlcBevIma, alcohol beverage images; NeuBevIma, neutral beverage images; SE, Standard errors.

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