Poster B108, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Family History of Substance Abuse Affects Adolescents’ Choices
Yael M. Cycowicz1,2, Diana Rodriguez Moreno1, Lawrence V. Amsel1,2, Chase A. Hill1, Zhishun Wang1,2, Xiaofu He1,2, Christina Hoven1,2; 1New York State Psyciatric Institute, 2Columbia University
Adolescents vary in their ability to delay gratification, and this may distinguish adolescents who go on to abuse substances. We investigated the influence of family history of substance use (FH+) on adolescents’ ability to delay gratification using the Intertemporal Choice Task (ICT), a delay discounting task. In this task, subjects choose between sooner-smaller (SS) or larger-later (LL) monetary reward. We assessed the effect of immediately available rewards by including two SS conditions: immediate (SS-today) and not immediate (SS-2-weeks). Adolescents (12-16 years old) from the FH+ group (N=25) and FH- group (N=26) performed the task in a 3T scanner to investigate the contribution of frontal and subcortical regions in the monetary decision process. The percentage of overall SS choices (SS/(SS+LL)) did not differ across groups (FH+: 68%; FH-: 69%), nor were there differences in brain activity. However, the percentage of SS-today choices was significantly different from SS-2-weeks choices (71% vs 63%), but only in the FH+ group, with no difference in the FH- group (69% vs 70%). Importantly, this difference was associated with increased activation of regions involved in delay discounting for immediate trials compared to not immediate trials, including Medial Orbitofrontal Gyrus, inferior Ventral Striatum, Posterior Cingulate Cortex, and Precuneus. These finding suggest that the immediate reward condition unmasks a deficit in delay gratification in the FH+ adolescents and may be an early behavioral indicator and neuro-marker of future appetitive impulsivity around immediate rewards such as substances. Subsequent scans (36 months) will reveal how this potentially relates to substance initiation.
Topic Area: THINKING: Decision making