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

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166. Neural Mechanisms of Reward Processing in Non-Clinical Psychosis

Five to eight percent of the general population report psychotic-like experiences (PLEs), which are fleeting perceptual or unusual thought type symptoms that do not meet a requisite level of frequency or related distress to warrant a clinical diagnosis. Collectively these individuals are believed to make up the lower proportion of a broader continuum of psychosis, ranging up to disorders such as schizophrenia. Studies indicate that reward processing deficits might contribute to characteristic symptoms in formal psychotic disorders, such as amotivation. However, whether similar processes are part of the broader psychosis phenotype is currently unknown. In an ongoing study, we are using event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine Reward Anticipation and Reward Outcome processes in individuals that experience both high and low levels of PLEs. We will present data examining if ERPs sensitive to Reward Anticipation (e.g. cue-P300 to reward/no reward cues) and Reward Outcome (e.g. the feedback related negativity to wins/losses) are differentially affected in individuals with high levels of PLEs compared to those with low levels. We will also examine how abnormalities in these processes are related to symptom frequency and distress. Given that deficits in Reward Anticipation and Reward Outcome are evident in psychosis populations, elucidating how these processes are implicated in individuals with high and low levels of PLEs stands to inform our current understanding of how reward processing abnormalities are implicated in the psychosis continuum.

Alara Ozsan
Northwestern University, ADAPT Lab

Juston Osborne
Northwestern University

Vijay Mittal
Northwestern University


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