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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Functional connectivity in reward-related networks is associated with individual differences in gambling strategies in male Lister Hooded rats

Tjernström, Nikita; Li, Tie-Qiang; Holst, Sarah; Roman, Erika;

Abstract

Individuals with gambling disorder display deficits in decision-making in the Iowa Gambling Task. The rat Gambling Task (rGT) is a rodent analogue that can be used to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying gambling behaviour. The aim of this explorative study was to examine individual strategies in the rGT and investigate possible behavioural and neural correlates associated with gambling strategies. Thirty-two adult male Lister hooded rats underwent behavioural testing in the multivariate concentric square field™ (MCSF) and the novel cage tests, were trained on and performed the rGT and subsequently underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI). In the rGT, stable gambling strategies were found with subgroups of rats that preferred the suboptimal safest choice as well as the disadvantageous choice, that is, the riskiest gambling strategy. R-fMRI results revealed associations between gambling strategies and brain regions central for reward networks. Moreover, rats with risky gambling strategies differed from those with strategic and intermediate strategies in brain functional connectivity. No differences in behavioural profiles, as assessed with the MCSF and novel cage tests, were observed between the gambling strategy groups. In conclusion, stable individual differences in gambling strategies were found. Intrinsic functional connectivity using R-fMRI provides novel evidence to support the notion that individual differences in gambling strategies are associated with functional connectivity in brain regions important for reward networks.

Keywords

behaviour; functional connectivity metrics; multivariate concentric square field; novel cage; ratgambling task; resting-state fMRIA

Published in

Addiction Biology

2022, volume: 27, number: 2, article number: e13131

Authors' information

Tjernström, Nikita
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB)
Li, Tie-Qiang
Karolinska Institutet
Holst, Sarah
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB)
Uppsala University

UKÄ Subject classification

Neurosciences

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/adb.13131

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/115514