The association between implicit alcohol attitudes and drinking behavior is moderated by baseline activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex

Friese, Malte; Gianotti, Lorena; Knoch, Daria (2015). The association between implicit alcohol attitudes and drinking behavior is moderated by baseline activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex. Health psychology, 35(8), pp. 837-841. American Psychological Association 10.1037/hea0000179

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OBJECTIVE Intense alcohol consumption is a risk factor for a number of health problems. Dual-process models assume that self-regulatory behavior such as drinking alcohol is guided by both reflective and impulsive processes. Evidence suggests that (a) impulsive processes such as implicit attitudes are more strongly associated with behavior when executive functioning abilities are low, and (b) higher neural baseline activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) is associated with better inhibitory control. The present study integrates these 2 strands of research to investigate how individual differences in neural baseline activation in the lateral PFC moderate the association between implicit alcohol attitudes and drinking behavior. METHOD Baseline cortical activation was measured with resting electroencephalography (EEG) in 89 moderate drinkers. In a subsequent behavioral testing session they completed measures of implicit alcohol attitudes and self-reported drinking behavior. RESULTS Implicit alcohol attitudes were related to self-reported alcohol consumption. Most centrally, implicit alcohol attitudes were more strongly associated with drinking behavior in individuals with low as compared with high baseline activation in the right lateral PFC. CONCLUSIONS These findings are in line with predictions made on the basis of dual-process models. They provide further evidence that individual differences in neural baseline activation in the right lateral PFC may contribute to executive functioning abilities such as inhibitory control. Moreover, individuals with strongly positive implicit alcohol attitudes coupled with a low baseline activation in the right lateral PFC may be at greater risk of developing unhealthy drinking patterns than others.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience

UniBE Contributor:

Friese, Malte; Gianotti, Lorena and Knoch, Daria

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

0278-6133

Publisher:

American Psychological Association

Language:

English

Submitter:

Irène Gonce-Gyr

Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2015 15:27

Last Modified:

10 Aug 2016 01:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1037/hea0000179

PubMed ID:

25915432

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/62264

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