CUED Publications database

Dopamine Regulates Approach-Avoidance in Human Sensation-Seeking.

Norbury, A and Kurth-Nelson, Z and Winston, JS and Roiser, JP and Husain, M (2015) Dopamine Regulates Approach-Avoidance in Human Sensation-Seeking. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol, 18. pyv041-.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Sensation-seeking is a trait that constitutes an important vulnerability factor for a variety of psychopathologies with high social cost. However, little is understood either about the mechanisms underlying motivation for intense sensory experiences or their neuropharmacological modulation in humans. METHODS: Here, we first evaluate a novel paradigm to investigate sensation-seeking in humans. This test probes the extent to which participants choose either to avoid or self-administer an intense tactile stimulus (mild electric stimulation) orthogonal to performance on a simple economic decision-making task. Next we investigate in a different set of participants whether this behavior is sensitive to manipulation of dopamine D2 receptors using a within-subjects, placebo-controlled, double-blind design. RESULTS: In both samples, individuals with higher self-reported sensation-seeking chose a greater proportion of mild electric stimulation-associated stimuli, even when this involved sacrifice of monetary gain. Computational modelling analysis determined that people who assigned an additional positive economic value to mild electric stimulation-associated stimuli exhibited speeding of responses when choosing these stimuli. In contrast, those who assigned a negative value exhibited slowed responses. These findings are consistent with involvement of low-level, approach-avoidance processes. Furthermore, the D2 antagonist haloperidol selectively decreased the additional economic value assigned to mild electric stimulation-associated stimuli in individuals who showed approach reactions to these stimuli under normal conditions (behavioral high-sensation seekers). CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide the first direct evidence of sensation-seeking behavior being driven by an approach-avoidance-like mechanism, modulated by dopamine, in humans. They provide a framework for investigation of psychopathologies for which extreme sensation-seeking constitutes a vulnerability factor.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: D2 antagonist addiction dopamine impulsivity sensation-seeking Avoidance Learning Computer Simulation Decision Making Dopamine Dopamine D2 Receptor Antagonists Double-Blind Method Electric Stimulation Exploratory Behavior Female Haloperidol Humans Individuality Male Models, Economic Models, Psychological Motivation Neuropsychological Tests Receptors, Dopamine D2 Risk-Taking Self Stimulation Sensation Young Adult
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div F > Computational and Biological Learning
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:31
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2017 01:35
DOI: