Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Biases in the explore-exploit tradeoff in addictions: the role of avoidance of uncertainty

Morris, L.S., Baek, K., Kundu, P., Harrison, N.A. ORCID:, Frank, M.J. and Voon, V. 2016. Biases in the explore-exploit tradeoff in addictions: the role of avoidance of uncertainty. Neuropsychopharmacology 41 (4) , pp. 940-948. 10.1038/npp.2015.208

Full text not available from this repository.


We focus on exploratory decisions across disorders of compulsivity, a potential dimensional construct for the classification of mental disorders. Behaviors associated with the pathological use of alcohol or food, in alcohol use disorders (AUD) or binge-eating disorder (BED), suggest a disturbance in explore–exploit decision-making, whereby strategic exploratory decisions in an attempt to improve long-term outcomes may diminish in favor of more repetitive or exploitatory choices. We compare exploration vs exploitation across disorders of natural (obesity with and without BED) and drug rewards (AUD). We separately acquired resting state functional MRI data using a novel multi-echo planar imaging sequence and independent components analysis from healthy individuals to assess the neural correlates underlying exploration. Participants with AUD showed reduced exploratory behavior across gain and loss environments, leading to lower-yielding exploitatory choices. Obese subjects with and without BED did not differ from healthy volunteers but when compared with each other or to AUD subjects, BED had enhanced exploratory behaviors particularly in the loss domain. All subject groups had decreased exploration or greater uncertainty avoidance to losses compared with rewards. More exploratory decisions in the context of reward were associated with frontal polar and ventral striatal connectivity. For losses, exploration was associated with frontal polar and precuneus connectivity. We further implicate the relevance and dimensionality of constructs of compulsivity across disorders of both natural and drug rewards.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group: Open Access Hybrid Model Option B
ISSN: 0893-133X
Date of Acceptance: 5 July 2015
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 14:03

Citation Data

Cited 33 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item