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Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 16;6:21778. doi: 10.1038/srep21778.

Resting-state functional connectivity between the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and thalamus is associated with risky decision-making in nicotine addicts.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, Chinese Academy of Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Science &Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China.
2
Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui 230001, China.
3
State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China.
4
School of Humanities &Social Science, University of Science &Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China.
5
Center of Medical Physics and Technology, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, CAS, Hefei, Anhui 230031, China.
6
Centers for Biomedical Engineering, University of Science &Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China.

Abstract

Nicotine addiction is associated with risky behaviors and abnormalities in local brain areas related to risky decision-making such as the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), anterior insula (AI), and thalamus. Although these brain abnormalities are anatomically separated, they may in fact belong to one neural network. However, it is unclear whether circuit-level abnormalities lead to risky decision-making in smokers. In the current study, we used task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and examined resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) to study how connectivity between the dACC, insula, and thalamus influence risky decision-making in nicotine addicts. We found that an increase in risky decision-making was associated with stronger nicotine dependence and stronger RSFC of the dACC-rAI (right AI), the dACC-thalamus, the dACC-lAI (left AI), and the rAI-lAI, but that risky decision-making was not associated with risk level-related activation. Furthermore, the severity of nicotine dependence positively correlated with RSFC of the dACC-thalamus but was not associated with risk level-related activation. Importantly, the dACC-thalamus coupling fully mediated the effect of nicotine-dependent severity on risky decision-making. These results suggest that circuit-level connectivity may be a critical neural link between risky decision-making and severity of nicotine dependence in smokers.

PMID:
26879047
PMCID:
PMC4755012
DOI:
10.1038/srep21778
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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