The Neurophysiology of Implicit Alcohol Associations in Recently Abstinent Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder: An Event‐Related Potential Study Considering Gender Effects

Tschümperlin, Raphaela Martina; Batschelet, Hallie Margareta; Moggi, Franz; Koenig, Thomas; Roesner, Susanne; Keller, Anne; Pfeifer, Philippe; Soravia, Leila Maria; Stein, Maria (2020). The Neurophysiology of Implicit Alcohol Associations in Recently Abstinent Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder: An Event‐Related Potential Study Considering Gender Effects. Alcoholism: clinical and experimental research, 44(10), pp. 2031-2044. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/acer.14444

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Background: Neuroscientific models of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) postulate an imbalancebetween automatic, implicit, and controlled (conscious) processes. Implicit associations towards alcohol indicate the automatically attributed appeal of alcohol-related stimuli. First, behavioral studies indicate that negative alcohol associations are less pronounced in patients compared to controls, but potential
neurophysiological differences remain unexplored. This study investigates neurophysiological correlates of implicit alcohol associations in recently abstinent patients with AUD for the first time, including possible gender effects.
Methods: A total of 62 patients (40 males and 22 females) and 21 controls performed an alcohol valence Implicit Association Test, combining alcohol-related pictures with positive (incongruent condition)or negative (congruent condition) words, while brain activity was recorded using 64-channel electroencephalography.
Event-related potentials (ERPs) for alcohol-negative and alcohol-positive trials
were computed. Microstate analyses investigated the effects of group (patients, controls) and condition (incongruent, congruent); furthermore, possible gender effects in patients were analyzed. Significant effects were localized with standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic topography analysis.
Results: Although no behavioral group differences were found, ERPs of patients and controls were characterized by distinct microstates from 320 ms onwards. ERPs between conditions differed only in patients with higher signal strength during incongruent trials. Around 600 ms, controls displayed higher signal strength than patients. A gender effect mirrored this pattern with enhanced signal strength in females as opposed to male patients. Around 690 ms, a group-by-valence interaction indicated enhanced signal strength in congruent compared to incongruent trials, which was more pronounced in controls.
Conclusions: For patients with AUD, the pattern, timing, and source localization of effects suggest greater effort regarding semantic and self-relevant integration around 400 ms during incongruent trials and attenuated emotional processing during the late positive potential timeframe. Interestingly, this emotional attenuation seemed reduced in female patients, thus corroborating the importance of gendersensitive research and potential treatment of AUD.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Tschümperlin, Raphaela Martina; Batschelet, Hallie Margareta; Moggi, Franz; König, Thomas; Pfeifer, Philippe; Soravia, Leila and Stein, Maria

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0145-6008

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Franz Moggi

Date Deposited:

27 Oct 2020 10:56

Last Modified:

09 Nov 2020 11:49

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/acer.14444

PubMed ID:

32880981

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Alcohol Use Disorder, Implicit Association Test, Event-Related Potentials, Microstates, Gender

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.147094

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/147094

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