A fundamental feature of addiction is continued use despite high-cost losses. One possible driver of this feature is a dissociation between reward pursuit and reward valuation. To test for this dissociation, we employed a foraging paradigm with real-time delays and video rewards. Subjects made stay/skip choices on risky and non-risky offers; risky losses were operationalized as receipt of the longer delay after accepting a risky deal. We found that reward likability following risky losses predicted reward pursuit (i.e., subsequent choices), while there was no effect on reward valuation or reward pursuit in the absence of such losses. Individuals with high trait externalizing, who may be vulnerable to addiction, showed a dissociation between these phenomena: they liked videos more after risky losses but showed no decrease in choosing to stay on subsequent risky offers. This suggests that the inability to learn from mistakes is a potential component of risk for addiction.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to SA (F31-DA040335-02) and AR
This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to SA (F31-DA040335-02) and AR (R01-DA030672). The writing of this manuscript was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations; the Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment; and the Department of Veterans Affairs Sierra Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). We thank the members of the TRiCAM lab for assistance with data collection. We also thank both the TRiCAM and Redish labs for providing helpful discussion. Some of the content included in the current manuscript first appeared in a doctoral thesis (73), which is available online at: https://conservancy.umn.edu/handle/11299/200236.
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