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Vigour in active avoidance

Nord, CL; Prabhu, G; Nolte, T; Fonagy, P; Dolan, R; Moutoussis, M; (2017) Vigour in active avoidance. Scientific Reports , 7 , Article 60. 10.1038/s41598-017-00127-6. Green open access

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Abstract

It would be maladaptive to learn about catastrophes by trial and error alone. Investment in planning and effort are necessary. Devoting too many resources to averting disaster, however, can impair quality of life, as in anxiety and paranoia. Here, we developed a novel task to explore how people adjust effort expenditure (vigor) so as to avoid negative consequences. Our novel paradigm is immersive, enabling us to measure vigor in the context of (simulated) disaster. We found that participants (N=118) exerted effort to avoid disaster-associated states, adjusting their effort expenditure according to the baseline probability of catastrophe, in agreement with theoretical predictions. Furthermore, negative subjective emotional states were associated both with threat level and with increasing vigor in the face of disaster. We describe for the first time effort expenditure in the context of irreversible losses, with important implications for disorders marked by excessive avoidance.

Type: Article
Title: Vigour in active avoidance
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00127-6
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00127-6
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Vigour, Rewards, Punishment, Avoidance, Psychopathology
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 > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
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
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1540200
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