High sensation seeking is associated with strong approach behaviors and weak avoidance responses. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to further characterize the neurobiological underpinnings of this behavioral profile using a Go/No-go task. Analysis of brain activation associated with response inhibition (No-go) versus response initiation and execution (Go) revealed the commonly reported right lateral prefrontal, insula, cingulate, and supplementary motor area network. However, right lateral activation was associated with greater No-go than Go responses only in low sensation seekers. High sensation seekers showed no differential activation in these regions but a more pronounced Go compared to No-go response in several other regions that are involved in salience detection (insula), motor initiation (anterior cingulate) and attention (inferior parietal cortex). Temporal analysis of the hemodynamic response for Go and No-go conditions revealed that the stronger response to Go than No-go trials in high sensation seekers occurred in in the earliest time window in the right middle frontal gyrus, right mid-cingulate and right precuneus. In contrast, the greater No-go than Go response in low sensation seekers occurred in the later time window in these same regions. These findings indicate that high sensation seekers more strongly attend to or process Go trials and show delayed or minimal inhibitory responses on No-go trials in regions that low sensation seekers use for response inhibition. Failure to engage such regions for response inhibition may underlie some of the risky and impulsive behaviors observed in high sensation seekers.
|Number of pages
|Published - Oct 24 2012
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health ( P50 DA005312 , R01 HD052724 , P20 RR015592 ). We thank Kathryn Bylica, Jamie Furstenberg, and Dane Jensen for assistance with data collection and analysis and Faraday Davies and Shalika Whig for help with manuscript preparation.
- Cognitive control
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (all)
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology