Reward anticipation in individuals with subclinical psychotic experiences: A functional MRI approach

Stijn Michielse, Iris Lange, Jindra Bakker, Liesbet Goossens, Simone Verhagen, Silvia Papalini, Marieke Wichers, Ritsaert Lieverse, Koen Schruers, Therese van Amelsvoort, Jim van Os, Graham K Murray, Machteld Marcelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Previous research in patients with psychotic disorder has shown widespread abnormalities in brain activation during reward anticipation. Research at the level of subclinical psychotic experiences in individuals unexposed to antipsychotic medication is limited with inconclusive results. Therefore, brain activation during reward anticipation was examined in a larger sample of individuals with subclinical psychotic experiences (PE). Participants in the PE-group were included based on CAPE scores. A sample of emerging adults aged 16-26 years (n = 47) with PE and healthy controls (HC) (n = 40) underwent fMRI scanning. The Monetary Incentive Delay task was conducted with cues related to win, loss or neutral conditions. fMRI nonparametric tests were used to examine the reward versus neutral cue contrast. A significant main effect of the large win (€3.00) > neutral contrast was found in both groups showing activation in many brain areas, including classic reward regions. Whole brain analysis on the group comparison regarding the large win > neutral contrast showed significantly decreased activation in the right insula, putamen and supramarginal gyrus in the PE-group compared to controls. There was no group difference in the hypothesized reward-related region. Decreased activation in the right insula, putamen and supramarginal gyrus during reward anticipation in individuals with PE may be consistent with altered processing of sensory information, related to decreased emotional valuing and motivational tendencies and/or altered motor-cognitive processes. The absence of group differences in striatal activation suggests that activation here is intact in the earliest stages of psychosis and may exhibit progressive deterioration in as the disease develops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1374-1385
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Volume29
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • DYSFUNCTION
  • Emerging adults
  • FMRI
  • MESOLIMBIC DOPAMINE TRANSMISSION
  • Mild psychopathology
  • Monetary reward
  • POLYGENIC RISK
  • POSITRON-EMISSION-TOMOGRAPHY
  • PREDICTION
  • ROBUST
  • Reward anticipation
  • SALIENCE
  • SCHIZOPHRENIA
  • Subclinical psychotic experiences
  • VENTRAL STRIATAL ACTIVATION
  • fMRI

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