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Overlapping Risky Decision-Making and Olfactory Processing Ability in HIV-Infected Individuals | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2471-2701

Clinical and Experimental Psychology
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Research Article

Overlapping Risky Decision-Making and Olfactory Processing Ability in HIV-Infected Individuals

Christopher Jackson1, Narayan Rai2, Charlee K McLean2, Maria Mananita S Hipolito2, Flora Terrell Hamilton3, Suad Kapetanovic4 and Evaristus A Nwulia2*

1College of Medicine, Howard University, USA

2Department of Psychiatry, Howard University, Georgia Ave., NW, Washington, DC, USA

3Family and Medical Counseling Service, Inc., Washington, DC, USA

4Department of Psychiatry, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Nwulia EA
Department of Psychiatry
Howard University 2041 Georgia Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20060, USA
Tel: + 202-865-1742
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: August 02, 2017; Accepted date: August 08, 2017; Published date: August 15, 2017

Citation: Jackson C, Rai N, McLean CK, Hipolito MMS, Hamilton FT, et al. (2017) Overlapping Risky Decision-Making and Olfactory Processing Ability in HIV-Infected Individuals. Clin Exp Psychol 3: 160. doi: 10.4172/2471-2701.1000160

Copyright: © 2017 Jackson C. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: Given neuroimaging evidences of overlap in the circuitries for decision-making and olfactory processing, we examined the hypothesis that impairment in psychophysical tasks of olfaction would independently predict poor performances on Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a laboratory task that closely mimics real-life decisionmaking, in a US cohort of HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals. Method: IGT and psychophysical tasks of olfaction were administered to a Washington DC-based cohort of largely African American HIV+ subjects (N=100), and to a small number of demographically-matched non-HIV healthy controls (N=43) from a different study. Constructs of olfactory ability and decision-making were examined through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Structural equation models (SEMs) were used to evaluate the validity of the path relationship between these two constructs Result: The 100 HIV+ participants (56% female; 96% African Americans; median age = 48 years) had median CD4 count of 576 cells/μl and median HIV RNA viral load <48 copies per milliliter. Majority of HIV+ participants performed randomly throughout the course of IGT tasks, and failed to demonstrate a learning curve. Confirmatory factor analysis provided support for a unidimensional factor underlying poor performances on IGT. Nomological validity for correlations between olfactory ability and IGT performance was confirmed through SEM. Finally, factor scores of olfactory ability and IGT performance strongly predicted 6 months history of drug use, while olfaction additionally predicted hallucinogen use. Conclusion: This study suggests that combination of simple, office-based tasks of olfaction and decision-making may identify those HIV+ individuals who are more prone to risky decision-making. This finding may have significant clinical, public health value if joint impairments in olfaction and IGT task correlates with more decreased activity in brain regions relevant to decision-making.


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