9 research outputs found

    Loss of control over eating : A systematic review of task based research into impulsive and compulsive processes in binge eating  

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    Recurring episodes of excessive food intake in binge eating disorder can be understood through the lens of behavioral control systems: patients repeat maladaptive behaviors against their explicit intent. Self-report measures show enhanced impulsivity and compulsivity in binge eating (BE) but are agnostic as to the processes that might lead to impulsive and compulsive behavior in the moment. Task-based neurocognitive investigations can tap into those processes. In this systematic review, we synthesize neurocognitive research on behavioral impulsivity and compulsivity in BE in humans and animals, published between 2010-2020. Findings on impulsivity are heterogeneous. Findings on compulsivity are sparse but comparatively consistent, indicating an imbalance of goal-directed and habitual control as well as deficits in reversal learning. We urge researchers to address heterogeneity related to mood states and the temporal dynamics of symptoms, to systematically differentiate contributions of body weight and BE, and to ascertain the validity and reliability of tasks. Moreover, we propose to further scrutinize the compulsivity findings to unravel the computational mechanisms of a potential reinforcement learning deficit.Peer reviewe

    Lost in Translation? On the Need for Convergence in Animal and Human Studies on the Role of Dopamine in Diet-Induced Obesity

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    Purpose of Review: Animal and human studies suggest that diet-induced obesity and plasticity in the central dopaminergic system are linked. However, it is unclear whether observed changes depend on diet or obesity, and whether they are specific to brain regions and cognitive functions. Here, we focus on neural and cognitive changes in frontostriatal circuits. Recent Findings: Both diet and obesity affect dopaminergic transmission. However, site and direction of effects are inconsistent across species and studies. Non-specific changes are observed spanning all frontostriatal loops, from sensory input to motivated behaviour. Given the impact of peripheral signals on central dopaminergic signalling and the interaction between the frontostriatal loops, modulation of dopamine likely propagates through all loops and, thus, affects behaviour on various levels of complexity. Summary: To improve convergence between animal and human studies on diet-induced obesity, animal studies should include sophisticated cognitive measures and diets resembling human obesogenic diets, and human studies should adopt diet interventions and longitudinal designs.Peer reviewe

    Measuring self-regulation in everyday life: reliability and validity of smartphone-based experiments in alcohol use disorder

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    Self-regulation, the ability to guide behavior according to one’s goals, plays an integral role in understanding loss of control over unwanted behaviors, for example in alcohol use disorder (AUD). Yet, experimental tasks that measure processes underlying self-regulation are not easy to deploy in contexts where such behaviors usually occur, namely outside the laboratory, and in clinical populations such as people with AUD. Moreover, lab-based tasks have been criticized for poor test–retest reliability and lack of construct validity. Smartphones can be used to deploy tasks in the field, but often require shorter versions of tasks, which may further decrease reliability. Here, we show that combining smartphone-based tasks with joint hierarchical modeling of longitudinal data can overcome at least some of these shortcomings. We test four short smartphone-based tasks outside the laboratory in a large sample (N = 488) of participants with AUD. Although task measures indeed have low reliability when data are analyzed traditionally by modeling each session separately, joint modeling of longitudinal data increases reliability to good and oftentimes excellent levels. We next test the measures’ construct validity and show that extracted latent factors are indeed in line with theoretical accounts of cognitive control and decision-making. Finally, we demonstrate that a resulting cognitive control factor relates to a real-life measure of drinking behavior and yields stronger correlations than single measures based on traditional analyses. Our findings demonstrate how short, smartphone-based task measures, when analyzed with joint hierarchical modeling and latent factor analysis, can overcome frequently reported shortcomings of experimental tasks

    Measuring self-regulation in everyday life: Reliability and validity of smartphone-based experiments in alcohol use disorder

    Get PDF
    Self-regulation, the ability to guide behavior according to one's goals, plays an integral role in understanding loss of control over unwanted behaviors, for example in alcohol use disorder (AUD). Yet, experimental tasks that measure processes underlying self-regulation are not easy to deploy in contexts where such behaviors usually occur, namely outside the laboratory, and in clinical populations such as people with AUD. Moreover, lab-based tasks have been criticized for poor test-retest reliability and lack of construct validity. Smartphones can be used to deploy tasks in the field, but often require shorter versions of tasks, which may further decrease reliability. Here, we show that combining smartphone-based tasks with joint hierarchical modeling of longitudinal data can overcome at least some of these shortcomings. We test four short smartphone-based tasks outside the laboratory in a large sample (N = 488) of participants with AUD. Although task measures indeed have low reliability when data are analyzed traditionally by modeling each session separately, joint modeling of longitudinal data increases reliability to good and oftentimes excellent levels. We next test the measures' construct validity and show that extracted latent factors are indeed in line with theoretical accounts of cognitive control and decision-making. Finally, we demonstrate that a resulting cognitive control factor relates to a real-life measure of drinking behavior and yields stronger correlations than single measures based on traditional analyses. Our findings demonstrate how short, smartphone-based task measures, when analyzed with joint hierarchical modeling and latent factor analysis, can overcome frequently reported shortcomings of experimental tasks

    Diminished reinforcement sensitivity in adolescence is associated with enhanced response switching and reduced coding of choice probability in the medial frontal pole

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    Precisely charting the maturation of core neurocognitive functions such as reinforcement learning (RL) and flexible adaptation to changing action-outcome contingencies is key for developmental neuroscience and adjacent fields like developmental psychiatry. However, research in this area is both sparse and conflicted, especially regarding potentially asymmetric development of learning for different motives (obtain wins vs avoid losses) and learning from valenced feedback (positive vs negative). In the current study, we investigated the development of RL from adolescence to adulthood, using a probabilistic reversal learning task modified to experimentally separate motivational context and feedback valence, in a sample of 95 healthy participants between 12 and 45. We show that adolescence is characterized by enhanced novelty seeking and response shifting especially after negative feedback, which leads to poorer returns when reward contingencies are stable. Computationally, this is accounted for by reduced impact of positive feedback on behavior. We also show, using fMRI, that activity of the medial frontopolar cortex reflecting choice probability is attenuated in adolescence. We argue that this can be interpreted as reflecting diminished confidence in upcoming choices. Interestingly, we find no age-related differences between learning in win and loss contexts.Peer reviewe

    Identification of the asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax gametocyte reservoir under different transmission intensities

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    International audienceBackgroundUnderstanding epidemiological variables affecting gametocyte carriage and density is essential to design interventions that most effectively reduce malaria human-to-mosquito transmission.Methodology/Principal findingsPlasmodium falciparum and P . vivax parasites and gametocytes were quantified by qPCR and RT-qPCR assays using the same methodologies in 5 cross-sectional surveys involving 16,493 individuals in Brazil, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands. The proportion of infections with detectable gametocytes per survey ranged from 44–94% for P . falciparum and from 23–72% for P . vivax . Blood-stage parasite density was the most important predictor of the probability to detect gametocytes. In moderate transmission settings (prevalence by qPCR>5%), parasite density decreased with age and the majority of gametocyte carriers were children. In low transmission settings (prevalence65% of gametocyte carriers were adults. Per survey, 37–100% of all individuals positive for gametocytes by RT-qPCR were positive by light microscopy for asexual stages or gametocytes (overall: P . falciparum 178/348, P . vivax 235/398).Conclusions/SignificanceInterventions to reduce human-to-mosquito malaria transmission in moderate-high endemicity settings will have the greatest impact when children are targeted. In contrast, all age groups need to be included in control activities in low endemicity settings to achieve elimination. Detection of infections by light microscopy is a valuable tool to identify asymptomatic blood stage infections that likely contribute most to ongoing transmission at the time of sampling
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