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In major depression, prefrontal regulation of limbic brain areas may be a key mechanism that is impaired during the processing of affective information. This prefrontal–limbic interaction has been shown to be modulated by serotonin (5-HTT) genotype, indicating a higher risk for major depressive disorder (MDD) with increasing number of 5-HTT low-expression(More)
Hard-wired, Pavlovian, responses elicited by predictions of rewards and punishments exert significant benevolent and malevolent influences over instrumentally-appropriate actions. These influences come in two main groups, defined along anatomical, pharmacological, behavioural and functional lines. Investigations of the influences have so far concentrated on(More)
Effort has repeatedly been shown to have a pervasive effect on performance in psychological tests. The current study evaluates to what degree performance on various psychological tests is affected by lack of effort as compared with brain injury. Psychological and medical data from a sample of 233 patients referred from Workers' Compensation Boards or from(More)
BACKGROUND Deficits in working memory (WM) are a core symptom of schizophrenia patients and have been linked to dysfunctional prefrontal activation, which might be caused by a mesocortical hypodopaminergic state. Aripiprazole--a partial dopamine antagonist--is a novel antipsychotic, which increases frontal dopamine concentrations in preclinical studies.(More)
BACKGROUND Early dysfunction of the brain reward system in schizophrenia might be already recognized in the prodromal phase of this illness. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the blood oxygen level-dependent response in the ventral striatum (VS) of subjects with ultra-high risk for psychosis during the presentation of reward-indicating(More)
BACKGROUND Pavlovian processes are thought to play an important role in the development, maintenance and relapse of alcohol dependence, possibly by influencing and usurping ongoing thought and behavior. The influence of pavlovian stimuli on ongoing behavior is paradigmatically measured by pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT) tasks. These involve(More)
In experimental psychology different experiments have been developed to assess goal-directed as compared to habitual control over instrumental decisions. Similar to animal studies selective devaluation procedures have been used. More recently sequential decision-making tasks have been designed to assess the degree of goal-directed vs. habitual choice(More)
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(More)
BACKGROUND Changes in reflexive emotional responses are hallmarks of depression, but how emotional reflexes make an impact on adaptive decision-making in depression has not been examined formally. Using a Pavlovian-instrumental transfer (PIT) task, we compared the influence of affectively valenced stimuli on decision-making in depression and generalized(More)
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is associated with impaired processing and regulation of emotions. A vast body of research has elucidated the altered neural processes that occur in response to emotional stimuli, while little is known about anticipatory processes. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate neural activation(More)