Background: Cocaine addiction is related to impulsive decision making that is mediated by brain circuitry involved in reward processing and executive functions, such as cognitive control and attentional salience. Resting-state functional connectivity between reward and executive control circuitry is altered among cocaine users, with concomitant deficits in impulsivity and learning. Prior research has examined how select brain regions interact to influence impulsive decision making for drug users; however, research examining interactions between large-scale brain networks and impulsive behavior is limited. Methods: The current study compared reward and executive control network resting-state functional connectivity and its relationship to impulsive decision making between cocaine users (n = 37) and non-cocaine using control participants (n = 35). Participants completed computerized decision-making tasks and a separate resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. Data underwent independent component, dual regression, and linear regression moderation analyses. Results: Higher impulsivity on the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) was associated with inverse resting-state connectivity between the left cognitive control and subgenual anterior cingulate extended reward networks for cocaine users, while the opposite was found for controls. Less impulsivity on the monetary choice questionnaire was associated with stronger positive resting-state connectivity between the attentional salience and striatal core reward networks for controls, while cocaine users showed no association between impulsivity and resting-state connectivity of these networks. Conclusions: Cocaine users show aberrant associations between reward-executive control resting-state network coupling and impulsive decision making. The findings support the conclusion that an imbalance between reward and executive control circuitry contributes to impulsivity in drug use.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)