Discounting of delayed rewards and executive dysfunction in individuals infected with hepatitis C

Marilyn Huckans, Adriana Seelye, Jonathan Woodhouse, Tiffany Parcel, Lisa Mull, Daniel Schwartz, Alex Mitchell, David Lahna, Amy Johnson, Jennifer Loftis, Steven Paul Woods, Suzanne H. Mitchell, William Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: Determine whether adults with hepatitis C (HCV), regardless of substance use disorder, are more likely to discount delayed rewards than adults without hepatitis C, and explore the relationship between delay discounting and neuropsychological functioning. Methods: Procedures included clinical interviews, neuropsychological testing, and a delay discounting task. Results: Regardless of substance abuse history, adults with hepatitis C were significantly more likely to choose smaller immediate rewards over larger delayed rewards. Delay discounting correlated with performance on executive functioning tasks. Conclusions: Increased discounting is associated with broad executive dysfunction, suggesting that HCV-associated executive dysfunction may lead to altered decision-making style.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-186
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The first author would like to thank Diane Howieson for her initial input into the analysis plan and conceptualization of this study; Daniel Kriz, Hannah Luber, Renee Anderson, and Michael Kolessar for their many contributions as current research assistants within Marilyn Huckans’ research program; Emily Kizer, Danell Bjornson, Laura Parisi, and Samantha Ruimy for administrative and recruitment support over the years; Daniel Storzbach and Arthur Vandenbark for their continued mentorship and consultation; Betsy Zucker, Anna Sasaki, Michael Chang, and the other providers of the Portland VA Medical Center Liver Clinic for their ongoing collaborative support of Marilyn Huckans’ research. This material is based upon work in part supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development, Clinical Sciences Research and Development, as well as by the Oregon Health and Science University. This study was supported in part by a Northwest Health Foundation Grant and a VA Career Development Award to Marilyn Huckans.


  • Delay discounting
  • Hepatitis C
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Neuropsychology
  • Substance-related disorders


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