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Valerie Voon

Matilde M Vaghi, Petra E Vértes, Manfred G Kitzbichler, Annemieke M Apergis-Schoute, Febe E van der Flier, Naomi A Fineberg, Akeem Sule, Rashid Zaman, Valerie Voon, Prantik Kundu, Edward T Bullmore, Trevor W Robbins
BACKGROUND: A recent hypothesis has suggested that core deficits in goal-directed behavior in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are caused by impaired frontostriatal function. We tested this hypothesis in OCD patients and control subjects by relating measures of goal-directed planning and cognitive flexibility to underlying resting-state functional connectivity. METHODS: Multiecho resting-state acquisition, combined with micromovement correction by blood oxygen level-dependent sensitive independent component analysis, was used to obtain in vivo measures of functional connectivity in 44 OCD patients and 43 healthy comparison subjects...
August 11, 2016: Biological Psychiatry
Paula Banca, Neil A Harrison, Valerie Voon
Behavioral adaptation is required for the successful navigation of a constantly changing environment. Impairments in behavioral flexibility are commonly observed in psychiatric disorders including those of addiction. This study investigates two distinct facets of compulsivity, namely reversal learning and attentional set shifting, implicating orbitofrontal and lateral prefrontal regions respectively, across disorders of primary and secondary rewards. Obese subjects with and without binge eating disorder (BED), individuals with compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB), alcohol dependence (AD) and pathological video-gaming (VG) were tested with two computerized tasks: the probabilistic reversal task (trials to criterion and win-stay/lose-shift errors) and the intra/extra-dimensional set shift task (IED)...
2016: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Shane W Kraus, Valerie Voon, Ariel Kor, Marc N Potenza
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 28, 2016: Addiction
Simon Mitchell, Jennifer Gao, Mark Hallett, Valerie Voon
Novelty preference or sensation seeking is associated with disorders of addiction and predicts rodent compulsive drug use and adolescent binge drinking in humans. Novelty has also been shown to influence choice in the context of uncertainty and reward processing. Here we introduce a novel or familiar neutral face stimuli and investigate its influence on risk-taking choices in healthy volunteers. We focus on behavioural outcomes and imaging correlates to the prime that might predict risk seeking. We hypothesized that subjects would be more risk seeking following a novel relative to familiar stimulus...
2016: PloS One
Valerie Voon, Jeffrey W Dalley
Impulsivity and compulsivity have emerged as important dimensional constructs that challenge traditional psychiatric classification systems. Both are present in normal healthy populations where the need to act quickly and repeatedly without hesitation can be highly advantageous. However, when excessively expressed, impulsive and compulsive behavior can lead to adverse consequences and spectrum disorders exemplified by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), autism, and drug addiction...
2016: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Tom B Mole, Elijah Mak, Yee Chien, Valerie Voon
BACKGROUND: Processing of food and drug rewards involves specific neurocircuitry, and emerging evidence implicates subcortical abnormalities, particularly the nucleus accumbens and hippocampus. We specifically hypothesized that these 2 established regions in addiction neurocircuitry are associated with distinctive in vivo structural abnormalities in obesity and alcohol dependence. METHODS: To specifically investigate anatomically discrete volumetric changes associated with overconsumption of different rewards, we acquired T1 MRI data from 118 subjects in 3 groups comprising obesity (n=42), alcohol dependence (n=32), and healthy volunteer controls (n=44)...
May 12, 2016: International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Nicholas A Howell, Ian A Prescott, Andres M Lozano, Mojgan Hodaie, Valerie Voon, William D Hutchison
The globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) is a component of the basal ganglia, a network of subcortical nuclei that process motor, associative, and limbic information. While non-human primate studies have suggested a role for the GPi in non-motor functions, there have been no single-unit studies of non-motor electrophysiological behavior of human GPi neurons. We therefore sought to extend these findings by collecting single-unit recordings from awake patients during functional stereotactic neurosurgery targeting the GPi for deep brain stimulation...
July 22, 2016: Neuroscience
Cécile Delorme, Alexandre Salvador, Valerie Voon, Emmanuel Roze, Marie Vidailhet, Andreas Hartmann, Yulia Worbe
The sense of agency refers to the conscious experience of authorship and control over actions. The voluntary or involuntary nature of tics, which are the hallmark of Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (GTS), is unclear. Here, we studied metacognitive processing of agency in an explicit agency task on non-medicated and medicated GTS patients compared to matched controls. In this task, the participants made judgements of control and performance after completion of a computerized game where they had to catch targets with a cursor by moving the computer mouse...
April 2016: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Amy R Bland, Jonathan P Roiser, Mitul A Mehta, Thea Schei, Heather Boland, Daniel K Campbell-Meiklejohn, Richard A Emsley, Marcus R Munafo, Ian S Penton-Voak, Ana Seara-Cardoso, Essi Viding, Valerie Voon, Barbara J Sahakian, Trevor W Robbins, Rebecca Elliott
In mental health practice, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments are aimed at improving neuropsychological symptoms, including cognitive and emotional impairments. However, at present there is no established neuropsychological test battery that comprehensively covers multiple affective domains relevant in a range of disorders. Our objective was to generate a standardized test battery, comprised of existing, adapted and novel tasks, to assess four core domains of affective cognition (emotion processing, motivation, impulsivity and social cognition) in order to facilitate and enhance treatment development and evaluation in a broad range of neuropsychiatric disorders...
2016: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Valerie Voon, Andrea E Cavanna, Kerry Coburn, Shirlene Sampson, Alya Reeve, W Curt LaFrance
Much is known regarding the physical characteristics, comorbid symptoms, psychological makeup, and neuropsychological performance of patients with functional neurological disorders (FNDs)/conversion disorders. Gross neurostructural deficits do not account for the patients' deficits or symptoms. This review describes the literature focusing on potential neurobiological (i.e. functional neuroanatomic/neurophysiological) findings among individuals with FND, examining neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies of patients with the various forms of motor and sensory FND...
2016: Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Timo L Kvamme, Casper Schmidt, Daniela Strelchuk, Yee Chien Chang-Webb, Kwangyeol Baek, Valerie Voon
BACKGROUND: Binge consumption of alcohol is a major societal problem associated with important cognitive, physiological and neurotoxic consequences. Converging evidence highlights the need to assess binge drinking (BD) and its effects on the developing brain while taking into account gender differences. Here, we compared the brain volumetric differences between genders in college-aged binge drinkers and healthy volunteers. METHOD: T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images of 30 binge drinkers (18 males) and 46 matched healthy volunteers (23 males) were examined using voxel-based morphometry...
2016: NeuroImage: Clinical
Shane W Kraus, Valerie Voon, Marc N Potenza
AIMS: To review the evidence base for classifying compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) as a non-substance or 'behavioral' addiction. METHODS: Data from multiple domains (e.g. epidemiological, phenomenological, clinical, biological) are reviewed and considered with respect to data from substance and gambling addictions. RESULTS: Overlapping features exist between CSB and substance use disorders. Common neurotransmitter systems may contribute to CSB and substance use disorders, and recent neuroimaging studies highlight similarities relating to craving and attentional biases...
February 18, 2016: Addiction
Elisabeth Rounis, Paula Banca, Valerie Voon
There is recent evidence of deficits in praxis in patients with primary dystonia. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been linked to disorders of higher-order motor function, such as dystonia. However, no clear mechanism underlying such a relationship has been found. This pilot study aimed to identify whether patients with OCD might also show deficits in praxis. Patients with OCD were compared with healthy volunteers on a meaningless gesture imitation task. Patients showed significantly lower scores in this task...
2016: Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Ottavia Dipasquale, Ella A Cooper, Jeremy Tibble, Valerie Voon, Francesca Baglio, Giuseppe Baselli, Mara Cercignani, Neil A Harrison
Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) is a key mediator of antiviral immune responses used to treat hepatitis C infection. Though clinically effective, IFN-α rapidly impairs mood, motivation and cognition, effects that can appear indistinguishable from major depression and provide powerful empirical support for the inflammation theory of depression. Though inflammation has been shown to modulate activity within discrete brain regions, how it affects distributed information processing and the architecture of whole brain functional connectivity networks have not previously been investigated...
December 14, 2015: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
Laurel S Morris, Prantik Kundu, Nicholas Dowell, Daisy J Mechelmans, Pauline Favre, Michael A Irvine, Trevor W Robbins, Nathaniel Daw, Edward T Bullmore, Neil A Harrison, Valerie Voon
Discrete yet overlapping frontal-striatal circuits mediate broadly dissociable cognitive and behavioural processes. Using a recently developed multi-echo resting-state functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) sequence with greatly enhanced signal compared to noise ratios, we map frontal cortical functional projections to the striatum and striatal projections through the direct and indirect basal ganglia circuit. We demonstrate distinct limbic (ventromedial prefrontal regions, ventral striatum - VS, ventral tegmental area - VTA), motor (supplementary motor areas - SMAs, putamen, substantia nigra) and cognitive (lateral prefrontal and caudate) functional connectivity...
January 2016: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Shane W Kraus, Valerie Voon, Marc N Potenza
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2016: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Paula Banca, Laurel S Morris, Simon Mitchell, Neil A Harrison, Marc N Potenza, Valerie Voon
The Internet provides a large source of novel and rewarding stimuli, particularly with respect to sexually explicit materials. Novelty-seeking and cue-conditioning are fundamental processes underlying preference and approach behaviors implicated in disorders of addiction. Here we examine these processes in individuals with compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB), hypothesizing a greater preference for sexual novelty and stimuli conditioned to sexual rewards relative to healthy volunteers. Twenty-two CSB males and forty age-matched male volunteers were tested in two separate behavioral tasks focusing on preferences for novelty and conditioned stimuli...
January 2016: Journal of Psychiatric Research
Valerie Voon
Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common of eating disorders and is characterized by excessive, out-of-control, rapid food intake. This review focuses on cognitive impairments in BED, which represent an endophenotype that mediates brain function and behavior. Here we focus on reviewing impulsivity, compulsivity, attentional biases to food cues, and executive function. Behavioral regulation in BED appears to be influenced by the context of motivationally salient food cues and the degree of obesity. Deficits in delay discounting and risk taking under ambiguity are impaired in obesity irrespective of BED status...
December 2015: CNS Spectrums
Valerie Voon
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2015: CNS Spectrums
Francesca Falzon Aquilina, Anton Grech, Darleen Zerafa, Mark Agius, Valerie Voon
This paper will describe the incidence of eating disorders, with particular focus on obesity and binge eating, within the Island of Malta. The development of and 'Dar Kenn Ghal Sahhtek', the first centre for eating disorders in Malta will then be recounted, and the effective therapeutic interventions provided in it will be described. One important function of this unit is the treatment of excessive obesity. Some epidemiological data on the Obese Patients in DKS, relating to the incidence of Binge Eating Disorder in the DKS patient group will be given...
September 2015: Psychiatria Danubina
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