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Home > Individual differences in learning from probabilistic reward and punishment predicts smoking status.

Rai, Laura A and O'Halloran, Laura and Jollans, Lee and Vahey, Nigel and O'Brolchain, Conall and Whelan, Robert (2018) Individual differences in learning from probabilistic reward and punishment predicts smoking status. Addictive Behaviors, 88, pp. 73-76.

INTRODUCTION: The ability to update reward and punishment contingencies is a fundamental aspect of effective decision-making, requiring the ability to successfully adapt to the changing demands of one's environment. In the case of nicotine addiction, research has predominantly focused on reward- and punishment-based learning processes among current smokers relative to non-smokers, whereas less is known about these processes in former smokers.

METHODS: In a total sample of 105 students, we used the Probabilistic Selection Task to examine differences in reinforcement learning among 41 current smokers, 29 ex-smokers, and 35 non-smokers. The PST was comprised of a training and test phase that allowed for the comparison of learning from positive versus negative feedback.

RESULTS: The test phase of the Probabilistic Selection Task significantly predicted smoking status. Current and non-smokers were classified with moderate accuracy, whereas ex-smokers were typically misclassified as smokers. Lower rates of learning from rewards were associated with an increased likelihood of being a smoker or an ex-smoker compared with being a non-smoker. Higher rates of learning from punishment were associated with an increased likelihood of being a smoker relative to non-smoker. However, learning from punishment did not predict ex-smoker status.

CONCLUSIONS: Current smokers and ex-smokers were less likely to learn from rewards, supporting the hypothesis that deficient reward processing is a feature of chronic addiction. In addition, current smokers were more sensitive to punishment than ex-smokers, contradicting some recent findings.


Item Type
Article
Publication Type
Irish-related, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Screening / Assessment
Date
2018
Page Range
pp. 73-76
Publisher
Elsevier Science
Volume
88
EndNote
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