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CCN Brown Bag Series

Wednesday, October 31, 2018,

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  • Location: Wilson Hall • 111 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37240
  • Room: 115

Christopher Smith, PhD

Department of Psychology (Postdoctoral Fellow, Zald Lab)

Vanderbilt University

"Individual Differences in the Neural Basis of NOW vs LATER Choice"

 In this talk, I will discuss results from three studies I and collaborators conducted in the Cognition & Addiction Behavioral Neuroscience Lab (PI: Charlotte Boettiger) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Our work focused on investigating the neural and biological basis of a bias for choosing smaller, sooner over larger, later rewards (NOW vs LATER choice) that we and others have shown may be an endophenotype for alcohol/substance use disorders.

Using both resting-state and task-based functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), we 1) characterized networks engaged during choice processing that correlate with the degree ofNOW vs LATER choice and problematic alcohol use in a population of healthy adults; 2) investigated the impact of participant sex and genetics on both NOW vs LATER choice, resting state, and task-based functional connectivity that fit a proposed U-shaped relationship of putative prefrontal dopamine's effects on the behavior; and 3) found that resting-state connectivity between the right anterior insula and central executive network differentiates individuals with a family history of alcohol use disorders from those without.

These findings lead to better understanding of the neural and biological basis of NOW vs LATER choice with the ultimate goal of developing approaches to modulate this choice process and potentially reduce a behavior elevated in individuals with alcohol/substance use disorders.