Paper Co-Authored by Associate Professor Nobuhito Abe Has Been Published in Neurological Sciences
A paper co-authored by Yayoi Shigemune, Associate Professor, Tohoku Fukushi University (Former Researcher of KRC, Kyoto University) and Associate Professor Nobuhito Abe et al., entitled “Intrinsic motivation in patients with Parkinson’s disease: a neuropsychological investigation of curiosity using dopamine transporter imaging,” has been published in Neurological Sciences.
This study examined whether Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with degeneration of the dopaminergic nervous system show an impaired curiosity, in which the dopaminergic nervous system has been implicated. To investigate curiosity, a task was used to assess the “Pandora effect,” or a curiosity for resolving uncertainty even if it is likely to result in negative consequences. PD patients and healthy controls (HCs) completed the curiosity task in which they were required to decide either to view or skip negative pictures (e.g., snakes, cockroaches, sharks, rats, etc.) under both the certain and uncertain conditions. Under the certain condition, the name of the hidden animal was shown, on the other hand, under the uncertain condition, a question mark “?” was shown. To assess the distribution of dopamine transporters in the striatum, SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) images were acquired from PD patients.
In the uncertain condition, both PD patients as well as HCs chose to view the pictures at a higher frequency than those in the certain condition, confirming the “Pandora effect.” However, relative to the HCs, PD patients viewed the pictures less frequently under both the certain and uncertain conditions. The study also found that PD patients with reduced distribution of dopamine transporters viewed fewer pictures. The results of this study suggest that while the curiosity for viewing uncertain pictures is relatively intact in PD patients, an overall interest in viewing pictures is decreased due to the degeneration of the dopaminergic nervous system.
Shigemune Y, Kawasaki I, Midorikawa A, Baba T, Takeda A, Abe N (2021)
Intrinsic motivation in patients with Parkinson’s disease: A neuropsychological investigation of curiosity using dopamine transporter imaging
Neurological Sciences 42: 3349-3356