Chronic nicotine exposure impairs uncertainty modulation on reinforcement learning in anterior cingulate cortex and serotonin system

Chronic nicotine exposure impairs uncertainty modulation on reinforcement learning in anterior... Deficits in the computational processes of reinforcement learning have been suggested to underlie addiction. Additionally, environmental uncertainty, which is encoded in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), modulates reward prediction errors (RPEs) during reinforcement learning and exacerbates addiction. The present study tested whether and how the ACC would have an essential role in drug addiction by failing to use uncertainty to modulate the RPEs during reinforcement learning. In Experiment I, we found that the ACC/medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) did not modulate RPE learning according to uncertainty in smokers. The effect of uncertainty × RPE in the ACC/MPFC was correlated with the learning rate of RPEs and the duration of nicotine use. Experiment II demonstrated that serotonin, but not dopamine, receptor mRNA expression significantly decreased in the ACC of the nicotine exposed compared to the control rats. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between learning rate and serotonin receptor mRNA expression in the ACC. Therefore, all present results suggest that impairments in uncertainty modulation in the ACC disrupt reinforcement learning processes in chronic nicotine users and contribute to maladaptive decision-making. These findings support interventions for pathological decision-making in drug addiction that strongly focus on the serotonin system in ACC. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Neuroimage Elsevier

Chronic nicotine exposure impairs uncertainty modulation on reinforcement learning in anterior cingulate cortex and serotonin system

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
1053-8119
eISSN
1095-9572
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.11.048
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Deficits in the computational processes of reinforcement learning have been suggested to underlie addiction. Additionally, environmental uncertainty, which is encoded in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), modulates reward prediction errors (RPEs) during reinforcement learning and exacerbates addiction. The present study tested whether and how the ACC would have an essential role in drug addiction by failing to use uncertainty to modulate the RPEs during reinforcement learning. In Experiment I, we found that the ACC/medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) did not modulate RPE learning according to uncertainty in smokers. The effect of uncertainty × RPE in the ACC/MPFC was correlated with the learning rate of RPEs and the duration of nicotine use. Experiment II demonstrated that serotonin, but not dopamine, receptor mRNA expression significantly decreased in the ACC of the nicotine exposed compared to the control rats. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between learning rate and serotonin receptor mRNA expression in the ACC. Therefore, all present results suggest that impairments in uncertainty modulation in the ACC disrupt reinforcement learning processes in chronic nicotine users and contribute to maladaptive decision-making. These findings support interventions for pathological decision-making in drug addiction that strongly focus on the serotonin system in ACC.

Journal

NeuroimageElsevier

Published: Apr 1, 2018

References

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