Dissociable Frontostriatal White Matter Connectivity Underlies Reward and Motor Impulsivity
Posted: 15 Feb 2017 Last revised: 15 Mar 2017
Date Written: 2016
Dysfunction of cognitive control often leads to impulsive decision-making in clinical and healthy populations. Some research suggests that a generalized cognitive control mechanism underlies the ability to modulate various types of impulsive behavior, while other evidence suggests different forms of impulsivity are dissociable, and rely on distinct neural circuitry. Past research consistently implicates several brain regions, such as the striatum and portions of the prefrontal cortex, in impulsive behavior. However the ventral and dorsal striatum are distinct in regards to function and connectivity. Nascent evidence points to the importance of frontostriatal white matter connectivity in impulsivity, yet it remains unclear whether particular tracts relate to different control behaviors. Here we used probabilistic tractography of diffusion imaging data to relate ventral and dorsal frontostriatal connectivity to reward and motor impulsivity measures. We found a double dissociation such that individual differences in white matter connectivity between the ventral striatum and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was associated with reward impulsivity, as measured by delay discounting, whereas connectivity between dorsal striatum and supplementary motor area was associated with motor impulsivity, but not vice versa. Our findings suggest that (a) structural connectivity can is associated with a large amount of behavioral variation; (b) different types of impulsivity are driven by dissociable frontostriatal neural circuitry.
Keywords: decision making, impulsivity, reward, ventral striatum, white matter introduction
JEL Classification: D87,D90
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation