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Incentive-elicited striatal activation in adolescent children of alcoholics



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RESEARCH REPORT doi 10 1111 j 1360 0443 2008 02250 x Incentive elicited striatal activation in adolescent children of alcoholics James M Bjork1 Brian Knutson2 Daniel W Hommer1 Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health Bethesda MD USA1 and Department of Psychology Stanford University Palo Alto CA USA2 ABSTRACT Aims Deficient recruitment of motivational circuitry by non drug rewards has been postulated as a pre morbid risk factor for substance dependence SD We tested whether parental alcoholism which confers risk of SD is correlated with altered recruitment of ventral striatum VS by non drug rewards in adolescence Design During functional magnetic resonance imaging adolescent children of alcoholics COA age 12 16 years with no psychiatric disorders including substance abuse and similarly aged children with no risk factors responded to targets to win or avoid losing 0 0 20 1 5 or a variable amount ranging from 0 20 to 5 Results In general brain activation by either reward anticipation or outcome notification did not differ between COA and age gender matched controls Cue elicited reward anticipation activated portions of VS in both COA and controls In nucleus accumbens NAcc signal change increased with anticipated reward magnitude with intermediate recruitment by variable incentives but not with loss magnitudes Reward deliveries activated the NAcc and mesofrontal cortex in both COA and controls Losses activated anterior insula bilaterally in both groups with more extensive right anterior insula activation by losses in controls NAcc signal change during anticipation of maximum rewards relative to non reward correlated positively with both Brief Sensation Seeking Scale scores and with self reported excitement in response to maximum reward cues relative to cues for non reward Conclusions Among adolescents with no psychiatric disorders incentive elicited VS activation may relate more to



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