August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Attentional Bias for Non-drug Reward is Magnified in Addiction
Author Affiliations
  • Brian A. Anderson
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
  • Monica L. Faulkner
    Department of Neurology, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University
  • Jessica J. Rilee
    Department of Neurology, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University
  • Steven Yantis
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
  • Cherie L. Marvel
    Department of Neurology, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 508. doi:10.1167/14.10.508
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      Brian A. Anderson, Monica L. Faulkner, Jessica J. Rilee, Steven Yantis, Cherie L. Marvel; Attentional Bias for Non-drug Reward is Magnified in Addiction. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):508. doi: 10.1167/14.10.508.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Attentional biases for drug-related stimuli have been well documented in addiction and are related to treatment outcome. Attentional biases also develop for stimuli that have been paired with non-drug reward in adults without a history of addiction, the magnitude of which is predicted by visual working memory capacity and impulsiveness. We tested the hypothesis that addiction is associated with an increased attentional bias for non-drug (monetary) reward relative to that of healthy controls, and that this bias is related to working memory impairments and increased impulsiveness. Impulsiveness was measured using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), visual working memory capacity was estimated using a color change-detection task, and attentional bias was measured as the magnitude of response time slowing caused by irrelevant but previously reward-associated distractors in a visual search task (as in Anderson et al., 2011, PNAS). The results showed that attention was biased toward previously reward-associated distractors across both drug-dependent patients and healthy controls, replicating previous demonstrations of value-driven attentional capture. Importantly, this attentional bias was significantly greater in the patients than in the controls and was negatively correlated with visual working memory capacity. Patients were also significantly more impulsive than controls as a group. Our findings demonstrate that patients in treatment for addiction experience greater difficulty ignoring stimuli associated with non-drug reward. This non-specific reward-related bias could mediate the distracting quality of drug-related stimuli previously observed in addiction.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014

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