Right prefrontal and ventral striatum interactions underlying impulsive choice and impulsive responding

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Abstract

Although a multifaceted concept, many forms of impulsivity may originate from interactions between prefrontally-mediated cognitive control mechanisms and limbic, reward or incentive salience approach processes. We describe a novel task that combines reward and control processes to probe this putative interaction. The task involves elements of the monetary incentive delay task (Knutson et al., [2000]: Neuroimage 12:20–27) and the Go/No-Go task (Garavan et al., [1999]: Neuroimage 17:1820–1829) and requires human subjects to make fast responses to targets for financial reward but to occasionally inhibit responding when a NoGo signal rather than a target is presented. In elucidating the dynamic between reward anticipation and control we observed that successful inhibitions on monetary trials, relative to unsuccessful inhibitions, were associated, during the anticipation phase, with increased activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), decreased activity in the ventral striatum (VS), and altered functional connectivity between the two. Notably, this rIFG area had a small overlap but was largely distinct from an adjacent rIFG region that was active for the subsequent motor response inhibitions. Combined, the results suggest a role for adjacent regions of the rIFG in impulsive choice and in impulsive responding and identify a functional coupling between the rIFG and the VS. Hum Brain Mapp, 36:187–198, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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