Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Van Duijvenvoorde A.C.K.,University of Amsterdam | Huizenga H.M.,University of Amsterdam | Van Duijvenvoorde A.C.K.,Leiden University | Van Duijvenvoorde A.C.K.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Adolescence is often described as a period of increased risk taking relative to both childhood and adulthood. This inflection in risky choice behavior has been attributed to a neurobiological imbalance between earlier developing motivational systems and later developing top-down control regions. Yet few studies have decomposed risky choice to investigate the underlying mechanisms or tracked their differential developmental trajectory. The current study uses a risk–return decomposition to more precisely assess the development of processes underlying risky choice and to link them more directly to specific neural mechanisms. This decomposition specifies the influence of changing risks (outcome variability) and changing returns (expected value) on the choices of children, adolescents, and adults in a dynamic risky choice task, the Columbia Card Task. Behaviorally, risk aversion increased across age groups, with adults uniformly risk averse and adolescents showing substantial individual differences in risk sensitivity, ranging from risk seeking to risk averse. Neurally, we observed an adolescent peak in risk-related activation in the anterior insula and dorsal medial PFC. Return sensitivity, on the other hand, increased monotonically across age groups and was associated with increased activation in the ventral medial PFC and posterior cingulate cortex with age. Our results implicate adolescence as a developmental phase of increased neural risk sensitivity. Importantly, this work shows that using a behaviorally validated decision-making framework allows a precise operationalization of key constructs underlying risky choice that inform the interpretation of results. © 2015 the authors.

Krypotos A.-M.,University of Amsterdam | Krypotos A.-M.,Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center | Arnaudova I.,University of Amsterdam | Arnaudova I.,Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background and Objectives Exposure therapy for anxiety involves confronting a patient with fear-evoking stimuli, a procedure based partially on Pavlovian extinction. Exposure and other extinction-based therapies usually lead to (partial) reduction of fear symptoms, but a substantial number of patients experience a return of fear after treatment. Here we tested whether the combination of fear extinction with modification of approach-avoidance tendencies using an Approach- Avoidance Task (AAT) would result in the further reduction of conditioned fear and/or help prevent return of fear after extinction. Methods Two groups of participants underwent a fear acquisition procedure during which pictures of one neutral object were sometimes paired with shock (CS+), whereas pictures of another neutral object were not (CS-). The next day, in a fear extinction procedure, both objects were presented without shock. During the subsequent joystick AAT, one group primarily pulled CS+ pictures towards themselves and pushed CS- pictures away from themselves; reversed contingencies applied for the other group. Results Approach training was effective in modifying conditioned action tendencies, with some evidence for transfer to a different approach/avoidance task. No group differences in subjective fear or physiological arousal were found during subsequent post- training and return-of-fear testing. Limitations No reliable return-of-fear was observed in either group for either subjective or physiological fear measures. Conclusions Our results suggest that approach training may be of limited value for enhancing the shortand long-term effects of extinction-based interventions. © 2015 Krypotos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Kret M.E.,University of Amsterdam | Kret M.E.,Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center | Ploeger A.,University of Amsterdam | Ploeger A.,Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2015

Epidemiological studies have revealed that mental disorders are highly comorbid; almost half of the people with a mental disorder also meet the criteria of another disorder. The explanation of this high comorbidity has remained a scientific puzzle. We propose 'disrupted emotion processing' as a liability spectrum that underlies many different mental disorders. Emotion processing deficits have been reported in different disorders and result in difficulties in regulating emotions and at the perceptual level in attentional biases and impaired recognition of emotional expressions. This article provides a detailed overview of the literature on disrupted emotion processing in clinical groups on the behavioral and neurological level. In the discussion, the similarities and differences between these disorders are discussed in the context of common neuro-endocrine, genetic and environmental factors and ideas are put forward on how future research may advance. Most importantly, more interdisciplinary research is needed in which different techniques, tasks and clinical populations are combined to get a better understanding of disrupted emotion processing as a liability spectrum underlying various different mental disorders. © 2015.

Meuwese J.D.I.,University of Amsterdam | Meuwese J.D.I.,Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center | Scholte H.S.,University of Amsterdam | Scholte H.S.,Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Although we can only report about what is in the focus of our attention, much more than that is actually processed. And even when attended, stimuli may not always be reportable, for instance when they are masked. A stimulus can thus be unreportable for different reasons: the absence of attention or the absence of a conscious percept. But to what extent does the brain learn from exposure to these unreportable stimuli? In this fMRI experiment subjects were exposed to textured figure-ground stimuli, of which reportability was manipulated either by masking (which only interferes with consciousness) or with an inattention paradigm (which only interferes with attention). One day later learning was assessed neurally and behaviorally. Positive neural learning effects were found for stimuli presented in the inattention paradigm; for attended yet masked stimuli negative adaptation effects were found. Interestingly, these inattentional learning effects only became apparent in a second session after a behavioral detection task had been administered during which performance feedback was provided. This suggests that the memory trace that is formed during inattention is latent until reactivated by behavioral practice. However, no behavioral learning effects were found, therefore we cannot conclude that perceptual learning has taken place for these unattended stimuli. © 2014 Meuwese et al.

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