Representational uncertainty in the brain during threat conditioning and the link with psychopathic traits
Number of pages
SourceBiological Psychiatry : Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 2, 8, (2017), pp. 689-695
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SW OZ DCC NRP
Biological Psychiatry : Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Background: Psychopathy has repeatedly been linked to disturbed associative learning from aversive events (i.e., threat conditioning). Optimal threat conditioning requires the generation of internal representations of stimulus-outcome contingencies and the rate with which these may change. Because mental representations are imperfect, there will always be uncertainty about the accuracy of representations in the brain (i.e., representational uncertainty). However, it remains unclear i) to what extent threat conditioning is susceptible to different types of uncertainty in representations about contingencies during the acquisition phase and ii) how representational uncertainty relates to psychopathic features. Methods: A computational model was applied to functional neuroimaging data to estimate uncertainty in representations of contingencies (CoUn) and the rate of change of contingencies (RUn), respectively, from brain activation during the acquisition phase of threat conditioning in 132 adolescents at risk of developing antisocial personality profiles. Next, the associations between these two types of representational uncertainty and psychopathy-related dimensions were examined. Results: The left and right amygdala activation were associated with CoUn, while the bilateral insula and the right amygdala were associated with RUn. Different patterns of relationships were found between psychopathic features and each type of uncertainty. Callous-unemotional traits and impulsive-irresponsible traits uniquely predicted increased CoUn, while only impulsive-irresponsible traits predicted increased RUn. Conclusions: The findings suggest that i) the insula and amygdala differ in how these regions are affected by different types of representational uncertainty during threat conditioning, and ii) CoUn and RUn have different patterns of relationships with psychopathy-related dimensions.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.