Probing reward function in post-traumatic stress disorder with beautiful facial images.
Reward dysfunction may be implicated in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study applied a behavioral probe, known to activate brain reward regions, to subjects with PTSD. Male heterosexual Vietnam veterans with (n = 12) or without (n = 11) current PTSD were administered two tasks: (a) key pressing to change the viewing time of average or beautiful female or male facial images, and (b) rating the attractiveness of these images. There were no significant group differences in the attractiveness ratings. However, PTSD patients expended less effort to extend the viewing time of the beautiful female faces. These findings suggest a reward deficit in PTSD.
Elman, I; Ariely, D; Mazar, N; Aharon, I; Lasko, NB; Macklin, ML; Orr, SP; Lukas, SE; Pitman, RK
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