• The Role of Social Reward and Corticostriatal Connectivity in Substance Use

      Sazhin, Daniel; Frazier, Angelique M.; Haynes, Caleb R.; Johnston, Camille R.; Chat, Iris Ka-Yi; Dennison, Jeffrey B.; Bart, Corinne P.; McCloskey, Michael E.; Chein, Jason M.; Fareri, Dominic S.; Alloy, Lauren B.; Jarcho, Johanna M.; Smith, David V. (2020-10-29)
      This report describes an ongoing R03 grant that explores the links between trait reward sensitivity, substance use, and neural responses to social and nonsocial reward. Although previous research has shown that trait reward sensitivity and neural responses to reward are linked to substance use, whether this relationship is impacted by how people process social stimuli remains unclear. We are investigating these questions via a neuroimaging study with college-aged participants, using individual difference measures that examine the relation between substance use, social context, and trait reward sensitivity with tasks that measure reward anticipation, strategic behavior, social reward consumption, and the influence of social context on reward processing. We predict that substance use will be tied to distinct patterns of striatal dysfunction. Specifically, reward hyposensitive individuals will exhibit blunted striatal responses to social and non-social reward and enhanced connectivity with the orbitofrontal cortex; in contrast, reward hypersensitive individuals will exhibit enhanced striatal responses to social and non-social reward and blunted connectivity with the orbitofrontal cortex. We also will examine the relation between self-reported reward sensitivity, substance use, and striatal responses to social reward and social context. We predict that individuals reporting the highest levels of substance use will show exaggerated striatal responses to social reward and social context, independent of self-reported reward sensitivity. Examining corticostriatal responses to reward processing will help characterize the relation between reward sensitivity, social context and substance use while providing a foundation for understanding risk factors and isolating neurocognitive mechanisms that may be targeted to increase the efficacy of interventions.