Reward-oriented processes in bipolar disorder

Babiker, Nathan T.

Clinical psychology
July 2008

Thesis or dissertation

© 2008 Nathan T Babiker. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

There is thought to be a link between characteristic reward-oriented processes in bipolar disorder and dysregulation in the behavioural activation system (BAS). This study aimed to assess differences between bipolar and healthy control individuals in their response to reward, failure and a reasoning task sensitive to data-gathering biases. Participants were 25 adults with bipolar I disorder and 25 healthy controls. Measures of sensitivity to reward and failure were collected during the first task (Go task), which included visual analogue ratings of mood and success expectancy, reaction time of button-pressing, and the difficulty level set by the participant. There were no significant differences between groups following reward feedback or failure feedback on the Go task. Results from the second task showed that bipolar individuals needed less data than controls before making a decision on the emotionally-neutral, difficult version of the task. The results are discussed in relation to current trends in bipolar research.

Department of Clinical Psychology, Postgraduate Medical School, The University of Hull
Lam, Dominic
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