Decision-making deficits linked to real-life social dysfunction in crack cocaine-dependent individuals

Paulo Jannuzzi Cunha, Antoine Bechara, Arthur Guerra de Andrade, Sergio Nicastri
American Journal on Addictions 2011, 20 (1): 78-86
Crack cocaine-dependent individuals (CCDI) present abnormalities in both social adjustment and decision making, but few studies have examined this association. This study investigated cognitive and social performance of 30 subjects (CCDI × controls); CCDI were abstinent for 2 weeks. We used the Social Adjustment Scale (SAS), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), and Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). Disadvantageous choices on the IGT were associated with higher levels of social dysfunction in CCDI, suggesting the ecological validity of the IGT. Social dysfunction and decision making may be linked to the same underlying prefrontal dysfunction, but the nature of this association should be further investigated. 

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