Moderation of neural alcohol-cue craving by core personality systems

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University of Alabama Libraries

Alcohol cues are prevalent in our everyday lives (on commercials and billboards, in grocery ads, etc.). Past work has demonstrated that exposure to alcohol cues evokes alcohol craving as evidenced by cortical activation. Neural activity underlying cue-elicited craving is connected to core personality systems of approach motivation, avoidance motivation, and supervisory control. However, it is unclear which personality system is driving measures of frontal activation related to cue-elicited alcohol craving. The current study sought to determine which personality system moderates frontal asymmetric activation evoked by cue-elicited alcohol craving, when participants were exposed to alcohol or neutral pictures. Results revealed that greater trait impulsivity moderated the relationship between greater left-frontal activation and picture type. Approach motivation and avoidance motivation were unrelated to left-frontal activation and picture type. These results suggest that decreased activation of the supervisory control system (increased trait impulsivity) is responsible for greater left-frontal activation in response to cue-elicited alcohol craving, not increased activation of the approach system or the avoidance system.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Experimental psychology, Social psychology, Neurosciences