Cannabis use is associated with sexually dimorphic changes in executive control of visuospatial decision-making Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • When the outcome of a choice is less favorable than expected, humans and animals typically shift to an alternate choice option on subsequent trials. Several lines of evidence indicate that this “lose-shift” responding is an innate sensorimotor response strategy that is normally suppressed by executive function. Therefore, the lose-shift response provides a covert gauge of cognitive control over choice mechanisms. We report here that the spatial position, rather than visual features, of choice targets drives the lose-shift effect. Furthermore, the ability to inhibit lose-shift responding to gain reward is different among male and female habitual cannabis users. Increased self-reported cannabis use was concordant with suppressed response flexibility and an increased tendency to lose-shift in women, which reduced performance in a choice task in which random responding is the optimal strategy. On the other hand, increased cannabis use in men was concordant with reduced reliance on spatial cues during decision-making, and had no impact on the number of correct responses. These data (63,600 trials from 106 participants) provide strong evidence that spatial-motor processing is an important component of economic decision-making, and that its governance by executive systems is different in men and women who use cannabis frequently.

publication date

  • January 2022