Author(s): Wesley MJ, Hanlon CA, Porrino LJ
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Abstract Chronic marijuana users (MJ Users) perform poorly on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a complex decision-making task in which monetary wins and losses guide strategy development. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study sought to determine if the poor performance of MJ Users was related to differences in brain activity while evaluating wins and losses during the strategy development phase of the IGT. MJ Users (16) and Controls (16) performed a modified IGT in an MRI scanner. Performance was tracked and functional activity in response to early wins and losses was examined. While the MJ Users continued to perform poorly at the end of the task, there was no difference in group performance during the initial strategy development phase. During this phase, before the emergence of behavioral differences, Controls exhibited significantly greater activity in response to losses in the anterior cingulate cortex, medial frontal cortex, precuneus, superior parietal lobe, occipital lobe and cerebellum as compared to MJ Users. Furthermore, in Controls, but not MJ Users, the functional response to losses in the anterior cingulate cortex, ventral medial prefrontal cortex and rostral prefrontal cortex positively correlated with performance over time. These data suggest MJ Users are less sensitive to negative feedback during strategy development. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Psychiatry Res
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy