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96. Neural Reward Anticipation Predicts Systemic Inflammation among Individuals with Elevated Goal Ambition
Background: Reward hyposensitivity has been associated with greater peripheral inflammation. In parallel, psychopathology associated with reward hypersensitivity also has been linked to inflammation. These findings jointly highlight the possibility that both distinct and opposite reward sensitivity profiles are associated with inflammation. However, research on reward hypersensitivity and inflammation is sparse. The present study examined neural reward functions and extreme goal ambition associated with inflammation. Method: Complete data were available on 75 adults. Willingly Approached Set of Statistically Unlikely Pursuits was given to measure goal ambition. The fMRI Monetary Incentive Delay task was administered to assess the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the ventral striatum (VS) activation during reward anticipation. Plasma inflammatory markers interleukins (IL-)6, IL-8, IL-10, TNFα, and CRP were collected via antecubital venipuncture to compute an inflammation composite score (ICS). Results: Regressions revealed a significant brain activation by goal ambition interaction effect on ICS, such that, as goal striving tendency increased, OFC (b = .380, △R2 = .040, p = .043) and VS (b = .208, △R2 = .061, p = .013) activation had more positive associations with ICS. Conclusion: These results highlight the relationship between elevated neural reward anticipation responses and inflammatory phenotype in individuals with extreme goal ambition.