Research Reports - Role of reversal learning impairment in social disinhibition following traumatic brain injury
J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2016 Jan 12:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]
Osborne-Crowley K(1), McDonald S(1), Rushby JA(1).
OBJECTIVES: The current study aimed to determine whether reversal learning
impairments and feedback-related negativity (FRN), reflecting reward prediction
error signals generated by negative feedback during the reversal learning tasks,
were associated with social disinhibition in a group of participants with
traumatic brain injury (TBI).
METHODS: Number of reversal errors on a social and a non-social reversal learning
task and FRN were examined for 21 participants with TBI and 21 control
participants matched for age. Participants with TBI were also divided into low
and high disinhibition groups based on rated videotaped interviews.
RESULTS: Participants with TBI made more reversal errors and produced smaller
amplitude FRNs than controls. Furthermore, participants with TBI high on social
disinhibition made more reversal errors on the social reversal learning task than
did those low on social disinhibition. FRN amplitude was not related to
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that impairment in the ability to update
behavior when social reinforcement contingencies change plays a role in social
disinhibition after TBI. Furthermore, the social reversal learning task used in
this study may be a useful neuropsychological tool for detecting susceptibility
to acquired social disinhibition following TBI. Finally, that the FRN amplitude
was not associated with social disinhibition suggests that reward prediction
error signals are not critical for behavioral adaptation in the social domain.