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Author: Dirk E M Geurts (12)


Feb
2017

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by severe fatigue persisting for ≥6 months and leading to considerable impairment in daily functioning. Neuroimaging studies of patients with CFS have revealed alterations in prefrontal brain morphology. However, it remains to be determined whether these alterations are specific for fatigue or whether they relate to other common CFS symptoms (e.

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Dec
1969

Criminal behaviour poses a big challenge for society. A thorough understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying criminality could optimize its prevention and management. Specifically,elucidating the neural mechanisms underpinning reward expectation might be pivotal to understanding criminal behaviour.

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Dec
1969

Near-misses in gambling games are losing events that come close to a win. Near-misses were previously shown to recruit reward-related brain regions including the ventral striatum, and to invigorate gambling behavior, supposedly by fostering an illusion of control. Given that pathological gamblers are particularly vulnerable to such cognitive illusions, their persistent gambling behavior might result from an amplified striatal sensitivity to near-misses.

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Jul
2015

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by profound and disabling fatigue with no known somatic explanation. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven to be a successful intervention leading to a reduction in fatigue and disability. Based on previous neuroimaging findings, it has been suggested that central neural mechanisms may underlie CFS symptoms and play a role in the change brought on by CBT.

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May
2016

In detoxified alcohol-dependent patients, alcohol-related stimuli can promote relapse. However, to date, the mechanisms by which contextual stimuli promote relapse have not been elucidated in detail. One hypothesis is that such contextual stimuli directly stimulate the motivation to drink via associated brain regions like the ventral striatum and thus promote alcohol seeking, intake and relapse.

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Apr
2015

The neurotransmitter serotonin has long been implicated in the motivational control of behaviour. Recent theories propose that the role of serotonin can be understood in terms of an interaction between a motivational and a behavioural activation axis. Experimental support for these ideas, however, has been mixed.

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Nov
2013

Adaptive decision-making involves interaction between systems regulating Pavlovian and instrumental control of behavior. Here we investigate in humans the role of serotonin in such Pavlovian-instrumental transfer in both the aversive and the appetitive domain using acute tryptophan depletion, known to lower central serotonin levels. Acute tryptophan depletion attenuated the inhibiting effect of aversive Pavlovian cues on instrumental behavior, while leaving unaltered the activating effect of appetitive Pavlovian cues.

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Dec
1969

Dopamine in the striatum is known to be important for reversal learning. However, the striatum does not act in isolation and reversal learning is also well-accepted to depend on the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the amygdala. Here we assessed whether dopaminergic drug effects on human striatal BOLD signaling during reversal learning is associated with anatomical connectivity in an orbitofrontal-limbic-striatal network, as measured with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

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Sep
2013

Adaptive behavior involves interactions between systems regulating Pavlovian and instrumental control of actions. Here, we present the first investigation of the neural mechanisms underlying aversive Pavlovian-instrumental transfer using fMRI in humans. Recent evidence indicates that these Pavlovian influences on instrumental actions are action-specific: Instrumental approach is invigorated by appetitive Pavlovian cues but inhibited by aversive Pavlovian cues.

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Jun
2013

The neurotransmitter dopamine plays a key role in cognitive functions that are associated with fronto-striatal circuitry and has been implicated in many neuropsychiatric disorders. However, there is a large variability in the direction and extent of dopaminergic drug effects across individuals.
We investigated whether individual differences in dopaminergic drug effects on human fronto-striatal functioning are associated with individual differences in white matter tracts.

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Mar
2014

Drugs that alter dopamine transmission have opposite effects on reward and punishment learning. These opposite effects have been suggested to depend on dopamine in the striatum. Here, we establish for the first time the neurochemical specificity of such drug effects, during reward and punishment learning in humans, by adopting a coadministration design.

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Dec
2011

Accumulating evidence indicates that the cognitive effects of dopamine depend on the subtype of dopamine receptor that is activated. In particular, recent work with animals as well as current theorizing has suggested that cognitive flexibility depends on dopamine D2 receptor signaling. However, there is no evidence for similar mechanisms in humans.

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