All Publications

  • Delay discounting abnormalities are seen in first-episode schizophrenia but not in bipolar disorder SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH Wang, H., Lesh, T. A., Maddock, R. J., Fassbender, C., Carter, C. S. 2020; 216: 200–206


    Delay discounting (DD) is the phenomenon of individuals discounting future rewards as a function of time. It has been studied extensively in chronic schizophrenia (SZ) and the results of these studies have been variable. Comorbidity in chronic samples could be one reason for the mixed findings and studies in first-episode (FE) samples are surprisingly lacking. Bipolar disorder (BP) which shares some genetic and symptom features with SZ could serve as an interesting comparison group for DD but has been underexplored. Here we present the first study that combines FE SZ, FE BP with psychotic features, as well as healthy controls and study DD with two versions of the task. We found that SZ showed steeper discounting than HC and BP on the well-validated Kirby DD task. SZ showed no difference than HC on a separate DD task with smaller rewards presented with decimal places and shorter delays. As a preliminary finding, DD was found to be positively related to positive symptoms in FE SZ, while no relationship was found between negative symptoms and DD. In addition, we found comparable DD in BP compared to HC. Ultimately, our data may help elucidate the psychopathology in SZ and BP during intertemporal decision making.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.schres.2019.11.063

    View details for Web of Science ID 000535701000027

    View details for PubMedID 31902558

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7239725

  • Extracellular free water and glutathione in first-episode psychosis-a multimodal investigation of an inflammatory model for psychosis. Molecular psychiatry Lesh, T. A., Maddock, R. J., Howell, A., Wang, H., Tanase, C., Daniel Ragland, J., Niendam, T. A., Carter, C. S. 2019


    Evidence has been accumulating for an immune-based component to the etiology of psychotic disorders. Advancements in diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have enabled estimation of extracellular free water (FW), a putative biomarker of neuroinflammation. Furthermore, inflammatory processes may be associated with altered brain levels of metabolites, such as glutathione (GSH). Consequently, we sought to test the hypotheses that FW is increased and associated with decreased GSH in patients with first-episode schizophrenia (SZ) compared with healthy controls (HC). SZ (n = 36) and HC (n = 40) subjects underwent a multi-shell diffusion MRI scan on a Siemens 3T scanner. 1H-MR spectroscopy data were acquired using a GSH-optimized MEGA-PRESS editing sequence and GSH/creatine ratios were calculated for DLPFC (SZ: n = 33, HC: n = 37) and visual cortex (SZ: n = 29, HC: n = 35) voxels. Symptoms and functioning were measured using the SANS, SAPS, BPRS, and GSF/GRF. SZ demonstrated significantly elevated FW in whole-brain gray (p = .001) but not white matter (p = .060). There was no significant difference between groups in GSH in either voxel. However, there was a significant negative correlation between DLPFC GSH and both whole-brain and DLPFC-specific gray matter FW in SZ (r = -.48 and -.47, respectively; both p < .05), while this relationship was nonsignificant in HC and in both groups in the visual cortex. These data illustrate an important relationship between a metabolite known to be important for immune function-GSH-and the diffusion extracellular FW measure, which provides additional support for these measures as neuroinflammatory biomarkers that could potentially provide tractable treatment targets to guide pharmacological intervention.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41380-019-0428-y

    View details for PubMedID 31138893

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6881530

  • Spatiotemporal dynamics of reward and punishment effects induced by associative learning PLOS ONE Wang, H., Kleffner, K., Carolan, P. L., Liotti, M. 2018; 13 (11): e0199847


    While reward associative learning has been studied extensively across different species, punishment avoidance learning has received far less attention. Of particular interest is how the two types of learning change perceptual processing of the learned stimuli. We designed a task that required participants to learn the association of emotionally neutral images with reward, punishment, and no incentive value outcomes through trial-and-error. During learning, participants received monetary reward, neutral outcomes or avoided punishment by correctly identifying corresponding images. Results showed an early bias in favor of learning reward associations, in the form of higher accuracy and fewer trials needed to reach learning criterion. We subsequently assessed electrophysiological learning effects with a task in which participants viewed the stimuli with no feedback or reinforcement. Critically, we found modulation of two early event-related potential components for reward images: the frontocentral P2 (170-230 ms) and the anterior N2/Early Anterior Positivity (N2/EAP; 210-310 ms). We suggest that reward associations may change stimuli detection and incentive salience as indexed by P2 and N2/EAP. We also reported, on an exploratory basis, a late negativity with frontopolar distribution enhanced by punishment images.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0199847

    View details for Web of Science ID 000451325700001

    View details for PubMedID 30475805

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6261035