Risk-taking in disorders of natural and drug rewards: neural correlates and effects of probability, valence, and magnitude

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Valerie Voon
  • Laurel S Morris
  • Michael A Irvine
  • Christian Ruck
  • Yulia Worbe
  • Katherine Derbyshire
  • Vladan Rankov
  • Liana Rn Schreiber
  • Brian Lawrence Odlaug
  • Neil A Harrison
  • Jonathan Wood
  • Trevor W Robbins
  • Edward T Bullmore
  • Jon E Grant

Pathological behaviors toward drugs and food rewards have underlying commonalities. Risk-taking has a fourfold pattern varying as a function of probability and valence leading to the nonlinearity of probability weighting with overweighting of small probabilities and underweighting of large probabilities. Here we assess these influences on risk-taking in patients with pathological behaviors toward drug and food rewards and examine structural neural correlates of nonlinearity of probability weighting in healthy volunteers. In the anticipation of rewards, subjects with binge eating disorder show greater risk-taking, similar to substance-use disorders. Methamphetamine-dependent subjects had greater nonlinearity of probability weighting along with impaired subjective discrimination of probability and reward magnitude. Ex-smokers also had lower risk-taking to rewards compared with non-smokers. In the anticipation of losses, obesity without binge eating had a similar pattern to other substance-use disorders. Obese subjects with binge eating also have impaired discrimination of subjective value similar to that of the methamphetamine-dependent subjects. Nonlinearity of probability weighting was associated with lower gray matter volume in dorsolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex in healthy volunteers. Our findings support a distinct subtype of binge eating disorder in obesity with similarities in risk-taking in the reward domain to substance use disorders. The results dovetail with the current approach of defining mechanistically based dimensional approaches rather than categorical approaches to psychiatric disorders. The relationship to risk probability and valence may underlie the propensity toward pathological behaviors toward different types of rewards.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Pages (from-to)804-12
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 137509639