Neuropsychological profiling of impulsivity and compulsivity in cocaine dependent individuals

Maria Jose Fernandez-Serrano, Jose Cesar Perales-Lopez, Laura Moreno-Lopez, Miguel Perez-Garcia, Antonio Javier Verdejo-Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: Research on the relative impact of trait impulsivity vs. drug exposure on neuropsychological probes of response inhibition vs. response perseveration has been posited as a valid pathway to explore the transition between impulsivity and compulsivity on psychostimulant dependence. Objectives: The objectives of this study are to examine performance differences between cocaine-dependent individuals (CDI) and healthy comparison individuals (HCI) on neuropsychological probes of inhibition and perseveration and to examine the predictive impact of trait impulsivity?a proxy of premorbid vulnerability, and severity of cocaine use?a proxy of drug exposure, on CDI?s performance. Methods: Forty-two CDI and 65 HCI were assessed using the UPPS-P Scale (trait impulsivity), the Stroop and go/no-go (inhibition) and revised-strategy application and probabilistic reversal tests (perseveration). Results: CDI, compared to HCI, have elevated scores on trait impulsivity and perform significantly poorer on inhibition and perseveration, with specific detrimental effects of duration of cocaine use on perseveration. Conclusions: CDI have both inhibition and perseveration deficits; both patterns were broadly indicative of orbitofrontal dysfunction in the context of reinforcement learning. Impulsive personality and cocaine exposure jointly contribute to deficits in response perseveration or compulsivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673 - 683
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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