Decision making in avoidance–reward conflict: a paradigm for non-human primates and humans
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Decision making in both animals and humans is influenced by the anticipation of reward and/or punishment. Little is known about how reward and punishment interact in the context of decision making. The Avoidance–Reward Conflict (ARC) Task is a new paradigm that varies the degree of reward and the probability of punishment in a single paradigm that can be used in both non-human primates (NHPs) and humans. This study examined the behavioral pattern in the ARC task in both NHPs and humans. Two adult male NHPs (macaca mulatta) and 20 healthy human volunteers (12 females) participated in the ARC task. NHPs and humans perform similarly on the ARC task. With a high probability of punishment (an aversive air puff to the eye), both NHPs and humans are more likely to forgo reward if it is small or medium magnitude than when it is large. Both NHPs and humans perform similarly on the same behavioral task suggesting the reliability of animal models in predicting human behavior.
KeywordsAnxiety Animal model Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) Bipolar disorder
This study was supported by Conte Project Grant (P50-MH086400) to ENE and DDD, a supplement for underrepresented minorities from DA026297 and a Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD) to DS-M, a Northeastern University Provost Award and Conte Project Summer Fellowship to EJM, and an HHMI fellowship to CAE. We thank the animal care staff of the Center for Comparative Medicine.
Conflict of interest
Dr. Deckersbach’s research has been funded by NIMH, NARSAD, TSA, IOCDF, Tufts University and the Depression and Bipolar Disorder Alternative Treatment Foundation. He has received honoraria, consultation fees and/or royalties from the MGH Psychiatry Academy, BrainCells Inc., Systems Research and Applications Corporation, Boston University, the Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research, the National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Tufts University, NIDA, NIMH, and Oxford University Press. He has also participated in research funded by NIH, NIA, AHRQ, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, The Forest Research Institute, Shire Development Inc., Medtronic, Cyberonics, Northstar, and Takeda. Dr. Dougherty has received honoraria from Reed Elsevier and Medtronic. He has also served as a consult to Medtronic and received grant/research support from Medtronic, Eli Lilly, Cyberonics, and Roche. All other authors report no financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.
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