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Reduced executive cognitive ability is associated with alcohol dependence (AD) and other comorbid externalizing disorders. Working memory capacity, short-term memory, conditional associative learning, and intelligence were assessed in a sample (N = 477) with variation in lifetime histories of externalizing problems (conduct disorder, adult antisocial(More)
Performance on complex decision-making tasks may depend on a multitude of processes. Two such tasks, the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and Balloon Analog Risk Task (BART), are of particular interest because they are associated with real world risky behavior, including illegal drug use. We used cognitive models to disentangle underlying processes in both tasks.(More)
Increased discounting of delayed rewards may reflect a decision bias that contributes to excessive use of alcohol and more generally, to an impulsive, disinhibitory predisposition that is characterized by a preference for immediate over long-term rewards. The current study examined the association between delay discounting of rewards and the covariation(More)
BACKGROUND Alcohol dependence (AD) is often comorbid with other disinhibitory disorders that are characterized by poor decision making and evidenced by disadvantageous strategies on laboratory tasks such as the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). In this study, a variant of the IGT is used to examine specific mechanisms that may account for poor decision making on(More)
Earlier age of first drink (AFD) of alcohol is associated with higher rates of alcohol abuse and dependence as well as a range of other externalizing problems. This study tested the hypotheses that in young adults earlier AFD is associated with [1] the common variance among externalizing problems (lifetime alcohol, marijuana, other drug, childhood conduct,(More)
Research has suggested that reduced working memory capacity plays a key role in disinhibited patterns of behavior associated with externalizing psychopathology. In this study, participants (N = 365) completed 2 versions of a go/no-go mixed-incentive learning task that differed in the relative frequency of monetary rewards and punishments for correct and(More)
Mutations in the parkin gene cause autosomal-recessive juvenile parkinsonism. Parkin encodes a ubiquitin-protein ligase characterized by having the RBR domain, composed of two RING fingers plus an IBR/DRIL domain. The RBR family is defined as the group of genes whose products contain an RBR domain. RBR family members exist in all eukaryotic species for(More)
The DJ-1 gene is extensively studied because of its involvement in familial Parkinson disease. DJ-1 belongs to a complex superfamily of genes that includes both prokaryotic and eukaryotic representatives. We determine that many prokaryotic groups, such as proteobacteria, cyanobacteria, spirochaetes, firmicutes, or fusobacteria, have genes, often incorrectly(More)
The human gene parkin, known to cause familial Parkinson disease, as well as several other genes, likely involved in other neurodegenerative diseases or in cancer, encode proteins of the RBR family of ubiquitin ligases. Here, we describe the structural diversity of the RBR family in order to infer their functional roles. Of particular interest is a(More)
BACKGROUND The imprint of natural selection on gene sequences is often difficult to detect. A plethora of methods have been devised to detect genetic changes due to selective processes. However, many of those methods depend heavily on underlying assumptions regarding the mode of change of DNA sequences and often require sophisticated mathematical treatments(More)