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Increased decision thresholds trigger extended information gathering across the compulsivity spectrum

Hauser, TU; Moutoussis, M; NSPN Consortium, ; Dayan, P; Dolan, RJ; (2017) Increased decision thresholds trigger extended information gathering across the compulsivity spectrum. Translational Psychiatry , 7 (12) , Article 1296. 10.1038/s41398-017-0040-3. Green open access

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Abstract

Indecisiveness and doubt are cognitive phenotypes of compulsive disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder. Little is known regarding the cognitive mechanisms that drive these behaviours across a compulsivity spectrum. Here, we used a sequential information gathering task to study indecisiveness in subjects with high and low obsessive-compulsive scores. These subjects were selected from a large population-representative database, and matched for intellectual and psychiatric factors. We show that high compulsive subjects sampled more information and performed better when sampling was cost-free. When sampling was costly, both groups adapted flexibly to reduce their information gathering. Computational modelling revealed that increased information gathering behaviour could be explained by higher decision thresholds that, in turn, were driven by a delayed emergence of impatience or urgency. Our findings show that indecisiveness generalises to a compulsivity spectrum beyond frank clinical disorder, and this behaviour can be explained within a decision-theoretic framework as arising from an augmented decision threshold associated with an attenuated urgency signal.

Type: Article
Title: Increased decision thresholds trigger extended information gathering across the compulsivity spectrum
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41398-017-0040-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-017-0040-3
Language: English
Additional information: 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. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Human behaviour, Learning and memory
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Gatsby Computational Neurosci Unit
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040878
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