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Author: Stephan Nebe (9)


Mar
2018

Alcohol consumption is pivotal for the subsequent development of alcohol use disorders (AUD). The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a recommended AUD screening tool for prevention and primary care settings. The objectives of this study were to test how many participants with heavy drinking are unidentified by the AUDIT, if proportions of unidentified participants vary over time, and whether this unidentified risk group (URG) was clinically relevant in terms of drinking behavior reports and AUD risk factors, as well as future adverse outcomes, such as craving, dependence symptoms, or depression.

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Jan
2018

The influence of Pavlovian conditioned stimuli on ongoing behavior may contribute to explaining how alcohol cues stimulate drug seeking and intake. Using a Pavlovian-instrumental transfer task, we investigated the effects of alcohol-related cues on approach behavior (i.e.

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Oct
2017

Impulsive decision making relates to problematic substance use. Specifically, altered delay discounting (DD) has been suggested as a behavioral marker for addiction, while other relevant facets of choice impulsivity such as probability discounting (PD) or loss aversion are clearly understudied.
Two studies were performed collecting behavioral data on choice impulsivity with a value-based decision-making battery providing estimates of DD, PD for gains and losses, and loss aversion.

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Dec
2017

Addiction is supposedly characterized by a shift from goal-directed to habitual decision making, thus facilitating automatic drug intake. The two-step task allows distinguishing between these mechanisms by computationally modeling goal-directed and habitual behavior as model-based and model-free control. In addicted patients, decision making may also strongly depend upon drug-associated expectations.

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Dec
1969

Advances in neurocomputational modeling suggest that valuation systems for goal-directed (deliberative) on one side, and habitual (automatic) decision-making on the other side may rely on distinct computational strategies for reinforcement learning, namely model-free vs. model-based learning. As a key theoretical difference, the model-based system strongly demands cognitive functions to plan actions prospectively based on an internal cognitive model of the environment, whereas valuation in the model-free system relies on rather simple learning rules from operant conditioning to retrospectively associate actions with their outcomes and is thus cognitively less demanding.

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Jan
2018

Alcohol dependence is a mental disorder that has been associated with an imbalance in behavioral control favoring model-free habitual over model-based goal-directed strategies. It is as yet unknown, however, whether such an imbalance reflects a predisposing vulnerability or results as a consequence of repeated and/or excessive alcohol exposure. We, therefore, examined the association of alcohol consumption with model-based goal-directed and model-free habitual control in 188 18-year-old social drinkers in a two-step sequential decision-making task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging before prolonged alcohol misuse could have led to severe neurobiological adaptations.

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Jul
2016

Behavioral choice can be characterized along two axes. One axis distinguishes reflexive, model-free systems that slowly accumulate values through experience and a model-based system that uses knowledge to reason prospectively. The second axis distinguishes Pavlovian valuation of stimuli from instrumental valuation of actions or stimulus-action pairs.

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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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Dec
1969

Human and animal work suggests a shift from goal-directed to habitual decision-making in addiction. However, the evidence for this in human alcohol dependence is as yet inconclusive.
Twenty-six healthy controls and 26 recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients underwent behavioral testing with a 2-step task designed to disentangle goal-directed and habitual response patterns.

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