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J Psychopharmacol. 2016 Mar;30(3):283-93. doi: 10.1177/0269881115625102. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

The effects of methylphenidate on cerebral responses to conflict anticipation and unsigned prediction error in a stop-signal task.

Author information

1
Integrative Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
5
Integrative Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA Department of Neuroscience, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA chiang-shan.li@yale.edu.

Abstract

To adapt flexibly to a rapidly changing environment, humans must anticipate conflict and respond to surprising, unexpected events. To this end, the brain estimates upcoming conflict on the basis of prior experience and computes unsigned prediction error (UPE). Although much work implicates catecholamines in cognitive control, little is known about how pharmacological manipulation of catecholamines affects the neural processes underlying conflict anticipation and UPE computation. We addressed this issue by imaging 24 healthy young adults who received a 45 mg oral dose of methylphenidate (MPH) and 62 matched controls who did not receive MPH prior to performing the stop-signal task. We used a Bayesian Dynamic Belief Model to make trial-by-trial estimates of conflict and UPE during task performance. Replicating previous research, the control group showed anticipation-related activation in the presupplementary motor area and deactivation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus, as well as UPE-related activations in the dorsal anterior cingulate, insula, and inferior parietal lobule. In group comparison, MPH increased anticipation activity in the bilateral caudate head and decreased UPE activity in each of the aforementioned regions. These findings highlight distinct effects of catecholamines on the neural mechanisms underlying conflict anticipation and UPE, signals critical to learning and adaptive behavior.

KEYWORDS:

Bayesian; Ritalin; dACC; fMRI; inhibitory control; insula; interference; psychostimulant; stimulant

PMID:
26755547
PMCID:
PMC4837899
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1177/0269881115625102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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