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Journal Article


Sehrig S, Weiss A, Miller GA, Rockstroh B. Psychophysiology 2019; 56(12): e13450.


Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany.


(Copyright © 2019, Society for Psychophysiological Research, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)






Individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) are aware of the risks of alcohol abuse yet continue risky drinking. Research indicates that dysfunctional decision processes and trait variables such as impulsivity contribute to this awareness-behavior discrepancy. The present study focused on decision-related versus feedback-related processes as potential contributors to decision making in AUD by examining the relationship between decision choices and decision- and feedback-related ERP phenomena in the balloon analogue risk task (BART). N = 39 AUD and n = 35 healthy comparison participants (HC) performed the BART modified for EEG assessment. In each of 100 runs, participants made a series of choices about whether to pump up a virtual balloon, which popped pseudorandomly, ending the run. Alternatively, participants ended the run by pressing a "cash-out" button. Each pump not producing a pop provided.05 €; popping resulted in loss of the run's accumulated gain. Groups made similar choices, though AUD responded more slowly. The decision P3 200-400 ms after decision prompt (balloon) was larger in AUD than in HC, and decision P3 enhancement on high-risk trials predicted choices to pump. Feedback-related negativity (FRN) after loss (relative to cash out) feedback was smaller in AUD than in HC, suggesting indifference to negative feedback. In AUD, high impulsivity was associated with risk-modulated decision P3 but not FRN.

RESULTS indicate atypical decision- and feedback-related processes that could contribute to difficulties in engaging with daily challenges effectively.

© 2019 The Authors. Psychophysiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Psychophysiological Research.

Language: en


ERP P3; FRN; alcohol use disorder; decision risk; outcome feedback


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