Home > The role of social novelty in risk seeking and exploratory behavior: implications for addictions.

Mitchell, Simon and Gao, Jennifer and Hallett, Mark and Voon, Valarie [PLOS One] . (2016) The role of social novelty in risk seeking and exploratory behavior: implications for addictions. Public Library of Science. PLoS ONE, 11 (7) e01589. /10.1371/journal.pone.0158947

URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.137...

Novelty preference or sensation seeking is associated with disorders of addiction and predicts rodent compulsive drug use and adolescent binge drinking in humans. Novelty has also been shown to influence choice in the context of uncertainty and reward processing. Here we introduce a novel or familiar neutral face stimuli and investigate its influence on risk-taking choices in healthy volunteers. We focus on behavioural outcomes and imaging correlates to the prime that might predict risk seeking. We hypothesized that subjects would be more risk seeking following a novel relative to familiar stimulus.

We adapted a risk-taking task involving acceptance or rejection of a 50:50 choice of gain or loss that was preceded by a familiar (pre-test familiarization) or novel face prime. Neutral expression faces of males and females were used as primes. Twenty-four subjects were first tested behaviourally and then 18 scanned using a different variant of the same task under functional MRI. We show enhanced risk taking to both gain and loss anticipation following novel relative to familiar images and particularly for the low gain condition.

Greater risk taking behaviour and self-reported exploratory behaviours was predicted by greater right ventral putaminal activity to novel versus familiar contexts. Social novelty appears to have a contextually enhancing effect on augmenting risky choices possibly mediated via ventral putaminal dopaminergic activity. Our findings link the observation that novelty preference and sensation seeking are important traits predicting the initiation and maintenance of risky behaviours, including substance and behavioural addictions.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Report
Source:PLOS One
Date:July 2016
Pages:e01589
Publisher:Public Library of Science
Volume:11
Number:7
EndNote:View
Subjects:F Concepts in psychology > Motivation
F Concepts in psychology > Emotion
F Concepts in psychology > Specific attitude and behaviour > choice-making behaviour
F Concepts in psychology > Specific attitude and behaviour > risk-taking behaviour
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Risk and protective factors > Risk factors
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Risk and needs assessment > Risk assessment

Repository Staff Only: item control page