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Investigating the effects of dopaminergic medication and Parkinson’s disease state on neural activation in the left ventral striatum

Vincent, Augusta Marie (2023) Investigating the effects of dopaminergic medication and Parkinson’s disease state on neural activation in the left ventral striatum. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Outcome processing is a crucial way in which we learn from our choices and navigate our environments. Neural signals of outcome processing are typically understood to depend on dopamine transmission involving the basal ganglia. However, causal relationships between the observed hemodynamic signal in human neuroimaging studies of outcome processing and the presence of dopamine-mediated outcome signals can only be examined via neuropsychological methods. Parkinson’s disease, which results in depleted dopamine and thus diminished dopamine signaling in the basal ganglia, provides an excellent neuropsychological opportunity to understand the causal relationships between dopamine signaling and hemodynamic changes related to outcome processing in the striatum. This study investigates how Parkinson’s disease and dopaminergic medication affect hemodynamic responses associated with a guessing task involving monetary gain and loss outcomes. The estimated hemodynamic responses in the left ventral striatum of 16 participants with Parkinson’s disease, on and off levodopa/carbidopa medication, and 10 controls are compared for reward and punishment outcomes, using an ANOVA-based analysis approach. No medication or group effects were observed in any contrast (all p > .05). These null results are reckoned with in the context of existing literature surrounding dopamine and hemodynamic signals in the basal ganglia.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Vincent, Augusta
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorFiez,
Committee MemberCalabro,
Committee MemberRottman,
Date: 11 May 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 March 2023
Approval Date: 11 May 2023
Submission Date: 6 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 29
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: outcome processing, dopamine, ventral striatum, parkinson's disease
Date Deposited: 11 May 2023 15:07
Last Modified: 11 May 2023 15:07


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