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Differential profiles of cognitive and behavioral inflexibility in addictive disorders

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Lim, TV 
Ersche, KD 


Patients with addictive disorders (encompassing substance and behavioral addictions) often behave in ways that have been described as rigid and inflexible. This behavioral profile has been proposed to be explained by impairments in cognitive and behavioral flexibility that are shared by all addictive disorders. To evaluate this assertion, we reviewed the literature to determine similarities and differences in performance of patients with either substance-related or behavioral addictions on well-established paradigms of cognitive and behavioral flexibility. Contrary to the widely-held view, we found that different addictive disorders have contrasting profiles of cognitive and behavioral inflexibility, suggesting that inflexible behavior – though conceptually similar in all addictive disorders – appear to be underpinned by different neuropsychological processes.



5202 Biological Psychology, 5203 Clinical and Health Psychology, 52 Psychology, Substance Misuse, Clinical Research, Behavioral and Social Science, Mind and Body, Drug Abuse (NIDA only), Brain Disorders

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Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences

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Elsevier BV
This work was supported by the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR203312) and the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East of England. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. The authors are also grateful to Dorothy Langton and her family for their support.