Poster F31, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Influence of motivational incentives on conflict resolution: new evidence from Alzheimer’s disease patients
Elisa Di Rosa1, Nicky M.J. Edelstyn2, Daniela Mapelli1; 1Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Italy, 2School of Psychology, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Neuroimaging studies implicate dopaminergic (DA) modulation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) - basal ganglia (BG) connections during the interaction between motivation and cognitive control (Westbrook & Braver, 2016). Consistent with this, is the evidence of impairments in motivation (reward)-guided modulation of cognitive control in medicated Parkinson’s disease (PD) - a condition marked by DA abnormalities (Di Rosa et al., 2015; Houvenaghel et al., 2016a-b). The hippocampus, a structure traditionally associated with cholinergic modulation, also receives dopaminergic projections from the BG, and preliminary evidence suggests it too is involved in reward-guided motivation (see Davidow et al., 2016). This raises the question as to whether reward-guided motivation is impaired in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), where the hippocampus is especially vulnerable to damage. Therefore, in the present study we employed the Motivational Simon task (Di Rosa et al., 2015) to evaluate the effect of reward and punishment on cognitive control in 20 AD patients (mean age 74.5) and 20 age-matched healthy volunteers (HVs). Results showed that while in HVs the presence of reward caused a significant increase in conflict cost (i.e. a bigger Simon effect), AD patients showed a bigger Simon effect in the punishment condition, with respect to the reward one. These findings suggest that AD patients retain the capacity to modulate cognitive control in response to different motivational incentives, and are broadly consistent with recent studies reporting a “negative bias” in AD patients (Perry et al., 2015; Gomez-Gallego & Gomez-Gallego, 2017).
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control