Alcohol cues, approach bias, and inhibitory control: applying a dual process model to alcohol sensitivity
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Low sensitivity to the acute effects of alcohol, or needing a relatively large amount to feel alcohol's effects, is a risk factor for developing AUDs and related problems. Dual process models of addiction posit that decisions to engage in substance use are governed by the relative strength of two modes of information processing: an impulsive, approach-motivational process, and a reflective, cognitive control process regulating approach tendencies. The current study had two main aims: (1) to test for differences in alcohol approach bias among high- and low-sensitivity drinkers, and (2) to investigate the neural and behavioral consequences of this bias for inhibitory control in the presence of alcohol cues. Eighty-five participants varying in alcohol sensitivity completed an Alcohol-Approach Avoidance Task and a Cued Go/No-Go Task while ERPs were recorded. Low sensitivity individuals showed automatic approach tendencies towards alcohol cues in the Alcohol-AAT and additionally, a behavioral approach bias in the Cued Go/No-Go Task by responding faster to alcohol targets than nonalcohol targets. These individuals experienced behavioral inhibition deficits during alcohol-cued trials that required the withholding of a prepotent response. Analyses of the ERP data indicated that alcohol-cued trials in which a prepotent behavioral response must be suppressed elicited increased N200 and P300 amplitude among LS individuals that was not seen on nonalcohol-cued trials. Together, these data indicate that alcohol cues elicit an approach bias among LS individuals, translating into greater difficulty inhibiting behavioral responses in the presence of such cues, a pattern generally supportive of dual process models of substance use.
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