Neural Correlates of Drug-Biased Choice in Currently Using and Abstinent Individuals With Cocaine Use Disorder

Scott J. Moeller, Anna Zilverstand, Anna B. Konova, Prantik Kundu, Muhammad A. Parvaz, Rebecca Preston-Campbell, Keren Bachi, Nelly Alia-Klein, Rita Z. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The choice for drugs over alternative reinforcers is a translational hallmark feature of drug addiction. The neural basis of such drug-biased choice is not well understood, particularly in individuals with protracted drug abstinence who cannot ethically participate in studies that offer drug-using opportunities. Methods: We developed a functional magnetic resonance imaging drug-choice task to examine the choice for viewing drug-related images, rather than for actually consuming a drug. Actively using (n = 18) and abstaining (n = 19) individuals with a history of cocaine use disorder (CUD: dependence or abuse) and matched healthy control subjects (n = 26) participated. Results: Individuals with CUD, especially those actively using cocaine outside the laboratory, made more choices than control subjects to view images depicting cocaine (especially when directly compared against images depicting an alternative appetitive reinforcer [food]). Functional magnetic resonance imaging data revealed that in individuals with CUD, the act of making drug-related choices engaged brain regions implicated in choice difficulty or ambivalence (i.e., dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which was higher in all individuals with CUD than control subjects). Drug-related choices in CUD also engaged brain regions implicated in reward (e.g., midbrain/ventral tegmental area, which was most activated in active users, although this region was not hypothesized a priori). Conclusions: These results help clarify the neural mechanisms underlying drug-biased choice in human addiction, which, beyond mechanisms involved in value assignment or reward, may critically involve mechanisms that contribute to resolving difficult decisions. Future studies are needed to validate these behavioral and neural abnormalities as markers of drug seeking and relapse in treatment contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-494
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
Volume3
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant Nos. K01DA037452 and R21DA40046 to SJM, Grant No. F32DA039648 to ABK, Grant No. F32DA033088 to MAP, Grant No. T32DA007135-31 to RP-C and KB, and Grant Nos. 1R01DA041528, R01DA023579, and R21DA034954 to RZG), National Institute of Mental Health (Grant No. R01MH090134 to NA-K), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research Rubicon Grant No. 446-14-015 (to AZ), and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (seed funds to NA-K and RZG; joint pilot grant from the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Social Work Services to KB). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant Nos. K01DA037452 and R21DA40046 to SJM , Grant No. F32DA039648 to ABK , Grant No. F32DA033088 to MAP , Grant No. T32DA007135-31 to RP-C and KB , and Grant Nos. 1R01DA041528 , R01DA023579 , and R21DA034954 to RZG ), National Institute of Mental Health (Grant No. R01MH090134 to NA-K ), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research Rubicon Grant No. 446-14-015 (to AZ), and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (seed funds to NA-K and RZG; joint pilot grant from the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Social Work Services to KB). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry

Keywords

  • Abstinence
  • Choice behavior
  • Decision making
  • Drug addiction
  • fMRI
  • Value

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neural Correlates of Drug-Biased Choice in Currently Using and Abstinent Individuals With Cocaine Use Disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this