Treatment Status Predicts Differential Prefrontal Cortical Responses to Alcohol and Natural Reinforcer Cues among Alcohol Dependent Individuals

  • Scott C. Bunce
  • Kurtulus Izzetoglu
  • Meltem Izzetoglu
  • Hasan Ayaz
  • Kambiz Pourrezaei
  • Banu Onaral
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7366)


This study used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRs) to test the hypothesis that non-treatment seeking alcohol-dependent participants (NTSA) would show greater response in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to alcohol cues than recovering alcoholics (RA; sober 90-180 days) or social drinkers. Opposite predictions were made for responses to natural reward cues. NTSA (n=4), RA (n=6), and social drinkers (n=4) were exposed to alcohol and natural reward cues while being monitored with fNIRs. Results confirmed enhanced responses to alcohol cues among NTSA vs. RA in right middle frontal gyrus. The opposite effect (RA>NTSA) was found in response to natural reward cues. Neural responses to alcohol and natural reward cues were negatively correlated in right DLPFC. Real-time craving ratings were positively correlated with greater neural response to alcohol cues. Differential responses to drug and natural reward cues suggest that a psychological mechanism related to treatment status may modulate drug cue responses in DLPFC.


Neural Response Middle Frontal Gyrus Social Drinker Natural Reward Nonalcoholic Beverage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott C. Bunce
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kurtulus Izzetoglu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Meltem Izzetoglu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hasan Ayaz
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kambiz Pourrezaei
    • 2
    • 3
  • Banu Onaral
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of MedicineHersheyUSA
  2. 2.School of Biomedical Engineering, Sciences, and Health SystemsDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Cognitive Neuroengineering and Quantitative Experimental Research, (CONQUER) CollaborativeDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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