FMRI response during figural memory task performance in college drinkers

Alecia D. Dager, Sharna Jamadar, Michael C. Stevens, Rivkah Rosen, Rachel E. Jiantonio-Kelly, Jason Flor Sisante, Sarah A. Raskin, Howard Tennen, Carol S. Austad, Rebecca M. Wood, Carolyn R. Fallahi, Godfrey D. Pearlson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Rationale: Eighteen- to twenty-five-year-olds show the highest rates of alcohol use disorders (AUD) and heavy drinking, which may have critical neurocognitive implications. Regions subserving memory may be particularly susceptible to alcohol-related impairments. Objective: We used blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the neural correlates of visual encoding and recognition among heavy-drinking college students. We predicted that heavy drinkers would show worse memory performance, increased frontal/parietal activation, and decreased hippocampal response during encoding. Methods: Participants were 23 heavy drinkers and 33 demographically matched light drinkers, aged 18-20, characterized using quantity/frequency of drinking and AUD diagnosis. Participants performed a figural encoding and recognition task during fMRI. BOLD response during encoding was modeled based on whether each stimulus was subsequently recognized or forgotten (i.e., correct vs. incorrect encoding). Results: There were no group differences in behavioral performance. Compared to light drinkers, heavy drinkers showed (1) greater BOLD response during correct encoding in the right hippocampus/medial temporal, right dorsolateral prefrontal, left inferior frontal, and bilateral posterior parietal cortices; (2) less left inferior frontal activation and greater bilateral precuneus deactivation during incorrect encoding; and (3) less bilateral insula response during correct recognition (clusters >10,233 μl, p < 0.05 whole brain). Conclusions: This is the first investigation of the neural substrates of figural memory among heavy-drinking older adolescents. Heavy drinkers demonstrated compensatory hyperactivation of memory-related areas during correct encoding, greater deactivation of default mode regions during incorrect encoding, and reduced recognition-related response. Results could suggest use of different encoding and recognition strategies among heavy drinkers.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)167-179
    Number of pages13
    JournalPsychopharmacology
    Volume231
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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    Keywords

    • Adolescent
    • Alcohol
    • Cognition
    • Learning
    • Memory
    • Young adult
    • fMRI

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pharmacology

    Cite this

    Dager, A. D., Jamadar, S., Stevens, M. C., Rosen, R., Jiantonio-Kelly, R. E., Sisante, J. F., Raskin, S. A., Tennen, H., Austad, C. S., Wood, R. M., Fallahi, C. R., & Pearlson, G. D. (2014). FMRI response during figural memory task performance in college drinkers. Psychopharmacology, 231(1), 167-179. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-013-3219-1