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

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141. Concussion History and Effort for Reward

Concussions are the most common neuropsychological problem in the United States and are associated with sequelae such as cognitive complaints and depression-related symptoms. Recent evidence indicates that concussions have the potential to damage axons and postsynaptic connections, and the long axonal projections in dopaminergic circuits that play a role in motivation and effort expended for reward may be particularly vulnerable to such damage. The current study examined lifetime history of concussions (i.e. number, time elapsed since most recent, and severity of worst) and effort for reward across a nonpsychiatric sample (N=64, 54.7% women, mean age=19). Effort for reward was measured using the Effort-Expenditure for Rewards Task (EEfRT). Results indicate that among those who report at least one concussion in their lifetime and had valid EEfRT data (n=26, 65.5% women), length of time since most recent concussion (M=61.46 months) was positively associated with average number of hard trial decisions on the EEfRT when covarying for number of lifetime concussions, concussion severity, sex, age, number of missed trials, and percent of incomplete trials. These results suggest that as more time elapses post-concussion, individuals are willing to expend greater effort to obtain rewards, perhaps indicating recovery from concussion-related motivational anhedonia.

John O'Donnell
University of Central Florida

Christopher Spencer
University of Central Florida

Jeffrey Bedwell
University of Central Florida


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