Modulation of impulsivity and reward sensitivity in intertemporal choice by striatal and midbrain dopamine synthesis in healthy adults
SourceJournal of Neurophysiology, 115, 3, (2016), pp. 1146-1156
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group Motivational & Cognitive Control
Journal of Neurophysiology
Subject170 000 Motivational & Cognitive Control
Converging evidence links individual differences in mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine (DA) to variation in the tendency to choose immediate rewards (“Now”) over larger, delayed rewards (“Later”), or “Now bias.” However, to date, no study of healthy young adults has evaluated the relationship between Now bias and DA with positron emission tomography (PET). Sixteen healthy adults (ages 24–34 yr; 50% women) completed a delay-discounting task that quantified aspects of intertemporal reward choice, including Now bias and reward magnitude sensitivity. Participants also underwent PET scanning with 6-[18F]fluoro-l-m-tyrosine (FMT), a radiotracer that measures DA synthesis capacity. Lower putamen FMT signal predicted elevated Now bias, a more rapidly declining discount rate with increasing delay time, and reduced willingness to accept low-interest-rate delayed rewards. In contrast, lower FMT signal in the midbrain predicted greater sensitivity to increasing magnitude of the Later reward. These data demonstrate that intertemporal reward choice in healthy humans varies with region-specific measures of DA processing, with regionally distinct associations with sensitivity to delay and to reward magnitude.
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