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Publication Detail
Altered reward and effort processing in children with maltreatment experience: a potential indicator of mental health vulnerability
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Armbruster-Genç DJN, Valton V, Neil L, Vuong V, Freeman ZCL, Packer KC, Kiffin MJ, Roiser JP, Viding E, McCrory E
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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  • Notes:
    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
In this longitudinal study of children and adolescents with a documented history of maltreatment, we investigated the impact of maltreatment on behavioral and neural indices of effort-based decision making for reward and examined their associations with future internalizing symptoms. Thirty-seven children with a documented history of maltreatment (MT group) and a carefully matched group of 33 non-maltreated children (NMT group) aged 10–16, completed an effort-based decision-making task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Internalizing symptoms were assessed at baseline and again 18 months later. Computational models were implemented to extract individual estimates of reward and effort sensitivity, and neural signals during decision-making about different levels of reward and effort were analyzed. These were used to predict internalizing symptoms at follow-up. We identified lower effort-related activation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a prespecified region-of-interest, in the MT relative to the NMT group. No group differences were observed in the striatum, or in behavioral indices of reward and effort processing. Lower effort-related ACC activation significantly predicted elevated internalizing symptoms at follow-up in the MT group. These findings suggest that disrupted effort-related activation may index latent vulnerability to mental illness in children who have experienced maltreatment.
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Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology
Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences
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Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology
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