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Biol Psychol. 2012 Jan;89(1):170-82. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.10.009. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Neurocognitive deficits in male alcoholics: an ERP/sLORETA analysis of the N2 component in an equal probability Go/NoGo task.

Author information

1
Henri Begleiter Neurodynamics Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Box 1203, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA. akp@hbnl.downstate.edu

Abstract

In alcoholism research, studies concerning time-locked electrophysiological aspects of response inhibition have concentrated mainly on the P3 component of the event-related potential (ERP). The objective of the present study was to investigate the N2 component of the ERP to elucidate possible brain dysfunction related to the motor response and its inhibition using a Go/NoGo task in alcoholics. The sample consisted of 78 abstinent alcoholic males and 58 healthy male controls. The N2 peak was compared across group and task conditions. Alcoholics showed significantly reduced N2 peak amplitudes compared to normal controls for Go as well as NoGo task conditions. Control subjects showed significantly larger NoGo than Go N2 amplitudes at frontal regions, whereas alcoholics did not show any differences between task conditions at frontal regions. Standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography analysis (sLORETA) indicated that alcoholics had significantly lower current density at the source than control subjects for the NoGo condition at bilateral anterior prefrontal regions, whereas the differences between groups during the Go trials were not statistically significant. Furthermore, NoGo current density across both groups revealed significantly more activation in bilateral anterior cingulate cortical (ACC) areas, with the maximum activation in the right cingulate regions. However, the magnitude of this difference was much less in alcoholics compared to control subjects. These findings suggest that alcoholics may have deficits in effortful processing during the motor response and its inhibition, suggestive of possible frontal lobe dysfunction.

PMID:
22024409
PMCID:
PMC3245806
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.10.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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