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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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23. Associations between Cognitive and Physical Effort-Based Decision-Making in Schizophrenia

Recent studies have found that individuals with schizophrenia show a decreased willingness to exert effort to obtain rewards. However, effort can take a variety of forms including physical (e.g., button pressing) and cognitive (e.g., working memory task). Few studies have examined whether individual differences in effort expenditure are similar or different across modalities. We recruited 30 individuals with schizophrenia and 44 healthy controls to complete two effort-based decision-making tasks, the effort expenditure for rewards task (EEfRT: physical effort) and the cognitive effort-discounting task (COGED: cognitive effort). For both tasks, participants demonstrated greater willingness to expend effort as the reward value offered for the harder task increased (p-values < 0.001). Further, individuals with schizophrenia were less willing than healthy controls to exert effort (p-values < 0.02). Willingness to expend cognitive and physical effort were positively associated for both those with schizophrenia (r = 0.56, p-values < 0.001) and controls (r = 0.37, p-value = 0.02). Follow-up analyses will be conducted to determine potential moderators of this relationship (e.g., cognition). These results suggest a generalized deficit across effort modalities in those with schizophrenia. Further studies are needed to determine if underlying neural mechanisms are similar or different across effort modalities.

Adam Culbreth
Washington University in Saint Louis

Erin Moran
Washington University in Saint Louis

Sally Dershwitz
Washington University in Saint Louis

Deanna Barch
Washington Univeristy in St Louis

 


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