Rationale: Alcohol-use disorder (AUD) is associated with the propensity to choose smaller sooner options on the delay discounting task. It is unclear, however, how inherent risk underlies delay discounting behavior. As impulsive choice is a hallmark feature in AUD, it is important to understand the neural response to reward and delay while accounting for risk in impulsive decision-making.
Objective: This study examined activation associated with delay and reward magnitude, while controlling for risk in a probabilistic delay discounting task in AUD and examined if differences in activation were associated with treatment outcomes.
Methods: Thirty-nine recently abstinent alcohol-dependent volunteers and 46 controls completed a probabilistic delay discounting task paired with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Alcohol use was collected using a self-report journal for 3 months following baseline scan.
Results: During delay stimulus presentations, Controls exhibited greater activation compared to the Alcohol group notably in the anterior insula, middle/dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), and inferior parietal lobule. For magnitude, the Alcohol group exhibited greater activation than Controls primarily in medial PFC, rostral ACC, left posterior parietal cortex, and right precuneus. Within the Alcohol group, alcohol craving severity negatively correlated with right lateral PFC activation during reward magnitude in individuals who completed the 3-month study without relapse, while non-completers showed the opposite relationship.
Conclusions: The results of this study extend previous findings that alcohol use disorder is associated with differences in activation during an immediate or delayed choice by delineating activation associated with the parameters of impulsive choice.
Keywords: Alcohol; Craving; Delay discounting; Impulsivity; Probability discounting; Relapse.
Conflict of interest statement
Disclosure/Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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- T32 DA007262/DA/NIDA NIH HHS/United States
- 2010-DD-BX-0517/U.S. Department of Justice
- APSYC0250/Medical Research Foundation of Oregon
- CX17008-CDA2/Michigan Department of Mental Health (US)
- P50DA018165/National Institute on Drug Abuse (US)
- I01 BX000517/BX/BLRD VA/United States
- T32 AA007468/AA/NIAAA NIH HHS/United States
- P50 DA018165/DA/NIDA NIH HHS/United States
- APSYC0249/Oregon Health and Science University (US)
- UL1 RR024140/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States
- IK2 CX001790/CX/CSRD VA/United States
- 1 UL1 RR024140 01/Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (US)
- I01 CX001558/CX/CSRD VA/United States
- R21 DA047602/DA/NIDA NIH HHS/United States
- R21 AA020039/AA/NIAAA NIH HHS/United States