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Neuroimage Clin. 2014 Feb 7;4:585-92. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2014.01.015. eCollection 2014.

Error-related functional connectivity of the thalamus in cocaine dependence.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA ; Inter-departmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA ; Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Error processing is a critical component of cognitive control, an executive function that has been widely implicated in substance misuse. In previous studies we showed that error related activations of the thalamus predicted relapse to drug use in cocaine addicted individuals (Luo et al., 2013). Here, we investigated whether the error-related functional connectivity of the thalamus is altered in cocaine dependent patients (PCD, n = 54) as compared to demographically matched healthy individuals (HC, n = 54). The results of a generalized psychophysiological interaction analysis showed negative thalamic connectivity with the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), in the area of perigenual and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, in HC but not PCD (p < 0.05, corrected, two-sample t test). This difference in functional connectivity was not observed for task-residual signals, suggesting that it is specific to task-related processes during cognitive control. Further, the thalamic-vmPFC connectivity is positively correlated with the amount of cocaine use in the prior month for female but not for male PCD. These findings add to recent literature and provide additional evidence for circuit-level biomarkers of cocaine dependence.


Cocaine; Cognitive control; PPI; Thalamus; fMRI; vmPFC

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