Navigation Links
Calculating the value of effortful behavior: A clue to schizophrenia-related disability?
Date:7/10/2013

Philadelphia, PA -- Many people with schizophrenia have marked problems with motivation, failing to initiate and persist in goal-directed behavior. These negative symptoms of schizophrenia can be disabling and prevent individuals from realizing their potential.

For many years it was thought this was due to an inability to experience pleasure associated with successful goal attainment. However, recent laboratory studies have shown that hedonic experience is actually intact in people with schizophrenia, calling for new approaches to better understand these motivational deficits.

In a new study published in Biological Psychiatry, Dr. James Gold, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and his colleagues now provide a new clue to the relationship between motivational deficits and functional impairment.

They theorized that the lack of motivation may stem from a decreased willingness to expend effort to gain rewards. In other words, individuals with schizophrenia may be less able to properly evaluate future reward in terms of the 'cost' of the effort required.

To test this, the researchers recruited individuals with schizophrenia and a comparison group of healthy individuals. The individuals with schizophrenia were also evaluated for their symptom levels. All participants completed a computerized effort-cost decision-making task in the laboratory. This task required them to make decisions between two alternatives: an easy option with a minimal reward, and a harder option with a higher-value reward.

They found that schizophrenia patients, especially those with prominent negative symptoms, were more likely to choose the less demanding tasks that provided smaller rewards and were less likely than healthy subjects to choose more demanding tasks that offered greater rewards.

"In essence, patients with severe negative symptoms calculate the 'cost' of potential effort versus the value of potential awards using a different equation than healthy volunteers or other people with schizophrenia who do not have severe motivational problems. The cost of effort is more salient than the potential increase in reward value," explained Gold.

These findings suggest that negative symptoms are associated with abnormalities in how patients weigh the cost of the effort needed to receive a reward or reach a goal. Importantly, these abnormalities were seen consistently only in those patients with high levels of negative symptoms. It seems that these patients were particularly averse to the higher effort required for larger rewards and/or that they did not find the higher reward worth the extra effort required.

Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, commented, "It is important to understand the disadvantageous choices that patients make because it may be possible, through education, rehabilitation, and perhaps medication to help patients make better progress in their rehabilitation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Calculating phosphorus and calcium concentrations in meat and bone meal for pig diets
2. When calculating cell-growth thermodynamics, reconsider using the Gibbs free energy equation
3. Medical device, health professionals attend first national conference on value-driven engineering
4. Womens scientific achievements often overlooked and undervalued
5. Boston Healthcare Associates Roundtable Explores Challenges and Opportunities Surrounding the Value of Big Data within the Life Sciences
6. Family values
7. Reproducibility Initiative to increase the value of biomedical research
8. Cross Match Technologies Undoubtedly Offers the Highest Value to Customers in the North American Biometrics Market, Says Frost & Sullivan
9. Is the detection of early markers of Epstein Barr virus of diagnostic value?
10. Study confirms prognostic value of new IASLC/ATS/ERS adenocarcinoma sub-classification
11. Controversial dam removals founded on value conflicts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO and MOUNTAIN VIEW, ... Zipongo , "Eating Well Made Simple," and 23andMe ... to help guide better food choices.  Zipongo can now ... only their food preferences, health goals and biometrics, but ... to certain food choices. Zipongo,s personalized food ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... March 7, 2017   HireVue , the leading ... companies identify the best talent, faster, today announced the ... Officer (CSO) and Diana Kucer as Chief ... seasoned executive team poised to drive continued growth in ... a year of record bookings in 2017. ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... 2017 Summary This report provides all ... partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... Read the full report: ... 2010 report provides an in-depth insight into the partnering activity ... On demand company reports are prepared upon purchase to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The ... 10 categories with over 30 nominees and well as the first-year award for ... award and the event was hosted by CompanyWeek and Manufacturers Edge, among other ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... Webster Bank, today announced first round funding to three startups through the UConn ... financial support to new business startups affiliated with UConn. , The UConn Innovation ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... IN (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... The ... to 11 high school graduates from across the nation. The scholarships are created through ... AMA member dues. , Scholarship criteria are set by the AMA Scholarship Committee, which ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... ... Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), a business incubator ... a $77,518 grant from the Rural Maryland Council (RMC) to support refurbishment of ... incubator. A non-profit corporation, FITCI is a public-private partnership of the governments of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: