Behavioral Disinhibition Can Foster Intentions to Healthy Lifestyle Change by Overcoming Commitment to Past Behavior.
ABSTRACT: To curb the trend towards obesity and unhealthy living, people may need to change their entire lifestyle to a healthier alternative, something that is frequently perceived to be problematic. The present research, using a large, representative community sample, hypothesized and found that a key factor responsible for why people do not intend to change lifestyles is a sense of commitment to past behavior. However we also found that the contribution of commitment was attenuated for individuals with a stronger tendency for behavioral disinhibition thus underscoring the "bright side" of this individual difference characteristic that traditionally has been mainly associated with impulsive and indulging behavior. Overall, the present findings add to our understanding of factors inhibiting and promoting healthy behavior change.
Project description:People regulate their eating behavior in many ways. They may respond to overeating by compensating with healthy eating behavior or increased exercise (i.e., a sensible tradeoff), or by continuing to eat poorly (i.e., disinhibition). Conversely, people may respond to a healthy eating event by subsequently eating poorly (i.e., self-licensing) or by continuing to eat healthily (i.e., promotion spillover). We propose that people may also change their behaviors in anticipation of an unhealthy eating event, a phenomenon that we will refer to as pre-compensation. Using a survey of 430 attendees of the Minnesota State Fair over two years, we explored whether, when, and how people compensated before and after this tempting eating event. We found evidence that people use both pre-compensatory and post-compensatory strategies, with a preference for changing their eating (rather than exercise) behavior. There was no evidence that people who pre-compensated were more likely to self-license by indulging in a greater number of foods or calories at the fair than those who did not. Finally, people who pre-compensated were more likely to also post-compensate. These results suggest that changing eating or exercise behavior before exposure to a situation with many tempting foods may be a successful strategy for enjoying oneself without excessively overeating.
Project description:Alcohol has a wide variety of effects on physiology and behavior. One of the most well-recognized behavioral effects is disinhibition, where behaviors that are normally suppressed are displayed following intoxication. A large body of evidence has shown that alcohol-induced disinhibition in humans affects attention, verbal, sexual, and locomotor behaviors. Similar behavioral disinhibition is also seen in many animal models of ethanol response, from invertebrates to mammals and primates. Here we describe several examples of disinhibition in the nematode C. elegans. The nematode displays distinct behavioral states associated with locomotion (crawling on land and swimming in water) that are mediated by dopamine. On land, animals crawl and feed freely, but these behaviors are inhibited in water. We found that additional behaviors, including a variety of escape responses are also inhibited in water. Whereas alcohol non-specifically impaired locomotion, feeding, and escape responses in worms on land, alcohol specifically disinhibited these behaviors in worms immersed in water. Loss of dopamine signaling relieved disinhibition of feeding behavior, while loss of the D1-like dopamine receptor DOP-4 impaired the ethanol-induced disinhibition of crawling. The powerful genetics and simple nervous system of C. elegans may help uncover conserved molecular mechanisms that underlie alcohol-induced disinhibition of behaviors in higher animals.
Project description:To determine whether an acceptance-based behavioral intervention (ABBI) produces better weight losses than standard behavioral treatment (SBT) among individuals reporting high internal disinhibition.Participants were 162 adults with overweight or obesity (mean BMI 37.6 kg/m2 ) randomly assigned to ABBI or SBT. Both interventions provided the same calorie intake target, exercise goal, and self-monitoring skills training. SBT incorporated current best practice interventions for addressing problematic thoughts and emotions. ABBI utilized acceptance-based techniques based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ABBI and SBT were compared on weight change and internal disinhibition change over 24 months.Mixed models analysis showed mean weight loss at 24 months was -4.1% (SE?=?0.88) for ABBI and -2.4% (SE?=?0.87) for SBT (P = 0.204). Secondary analyses showed that the ABBI group regained less weight from the end of treatment to the final follow-up (4.6 vs. 7.1 kg; P = 0.005), and that a significantly higher proportion of ABBI participants achieved a 5% weight loss (38% vs. 25%; P = 0.038) at 24 months.Results suggest that ABBI could be helpful for improving the maintenance of weight loss for individuals who report high internal disinhibition.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Higher energy expenditure (EE) is associated with greater food intake, possibly because the human body senses EE and modifies eating behaviors to regulate food intake and ultimately achieve energy balance. As eating behaviors are also influenced by social and cultural factors, any association between EE and eating behavior may differ between ethnicities and sexes. OBJECTIVE:To assess relationships between EE and eating behavior constructs of the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ). SUBJECTS/METHODS:In all, 307 healthy adults (201 M/106 F, 160 Native Americans) completed the TFEQ and had measures of 24-h EE in a whole-room calorimeter during energy balance. Body composition was assessed by DXA. RESULTS:On average, adjusted 24-h EE was lower (??=?-229?kcal/day, CI: -309 to -148, p?<?0.001) but cognitive restraint (??=?+?1.5; CI: 0.5 to 2.5, p?=?0.003) and disinhibition (??=?+?2.1, CI: 1.3 to 2.8, p?<?0.001) scores were higher in women compared with men. In Native Americans, adjusted 24-h EE (??=?+?94?kcal/day, CI: 48 to 139, p?<?0.001) and disinhibition scores (??=?+?1.0, CI: 0.1 to 2.0, p?=?0.003) were higher compared with other ethnicities. Higher 24-h EE associated with lower cognitive restraint in women (??=?-0.20, p?=?0.04), but not men (p?=?0.71; interaction term p?=?0.01) with no ethnic differences. Greater 24-h EE associated with higher disinhibition (??=?0.20, p?=?0.001) and hunger cues (??=?0.16, p?=?0.004) with no gender differences. These associations were primarily present in non-Native Americans (??=?0.23, p?=?0.006 and ??=?0.25, p?=?0.003) but not observed in Native Americans (both p?>?0.40). CONCLUSIONS:Higher EE is associated with psychological constructs of eating behaviors that favors overeating including lower cognitive restraint, higher dietary disinhibition, and greater susceptibility to hungers cues, supporting the existence of energy-sensing mechanisms influencing human eating behavior. These associations were observed in ethnicities other than Native Americans, possibly explaining the contradictory relationships reported between EE and weight change in different ethnic groups. We propose that increased EE may alter eating behaviors, potentially leading to uncontrolled overeating and weight gain.
Project description:Aberrant social behavior is a defining symptom of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and may eventually occur in all syndromes composing the FTD spectrum. Two main behavioral abnormalities have been described: apathy and disinhibition, but their neuroanatomical correlates remain underspecified.Sixty-two patients with a clinical diagnosis of FTD participated in the study. Voxel-based morphometry of MRI data was performed to explore the association between gray matter loss and severity of the two behavioral profiles as measured by the Apathy and Disinhibition subscales of the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale.Compared with a group of controls, the FTD group showed extensive bilateral atrophy predominantly involving frontal and temporal lobes. Within the FTD group, the severity of apathy correlated with atrophy in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The severity of disinhibition correlated with atrophy in the right nucleus accumbens, right superior temporal sulcus, and right mediotemporal limbic structures.Prefrontal and temporal regions are differentially associated with apathy and disinhibition. Our results support the view that successful execution of complex social behaviors relies on the integration of social knowledge and executive functions, represented in the prefrontal cortex, and reward attribution and emotional processing, represented in mesolimbic structures.
Project description:There is evidence to suggest that impulsivity is predicted by socioeconomic background, with people from more deprived backgrounds tending to be more impulsive, and by current mood, with poorer mood associated with greater impulsivity. However, impulsivity is not a unitary construct, and previous research in this area has focused on measures of 'waiting' impulsivity rather than behavioural disinhibition. We administered a standard measure of behavioural disinhibition, the stop-signal task, to 58 adult participants from a community sample. We had measured socioeconomic background using participant postcode at age 16, and assigned participants to receive either a neutral or a negative mood induction. We found no effects of mood on behavioural disinhibition, but we found a significant effect of socioeconomic background. Participants who had lived in more deprived postcodes at age 16 showed longer stop-signal reaction times, and hence greater behavioural disinhibition. The pattern was independent of participant age and overall reaction time. Though caution is required inferring causality from correlation, it is possible that that experiencing socioeconomic deprivation in childhood and adolescence may lead to greater behavioural disinhibition in adulthood.
Project description:With growing awareness that sustainable consumption is important for quality of life on earth, many individuals intend to act more sustainably. In this regard, interest in reducing meat consumption is on the rise. However, people often do not translate intentions into actual behavior change. To address this intention-behavior gap, we tested the self-regulation strategy of mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII). Here, people identify and imagine a desired future and current obstacles standing in its way. They address the obstacles with if-then plans specifying when, where, and how to act differently. In a 5-week randomized controlled experimental study, we compared an information + MCII intervention with an information-only control intervention. As hypothesized, only MCII participants' intention of reducing their meat consumption was predictive of their actual reduction, while no correspondence between intention and behavior change was found for control participants. Participants with a moderate to strong intention to reduce their meat consumption reduced it more in the MCII than in the control condition. Thus, MCII helped to narrow the intention-behavior gap and supported behavior change for those holding moderate and strong respective intentions.
Project description:There are important individual differences in acute subjective responses to alcohol, which have often been assessed using self-report measures. There is also evidence of meaningful between-persons variation in alcohol's disinhibiting effects on behavior, such that some individuals become more impaired on tasks of inhibition than do others after an intoxicating dose. The degree to which subjective alcohol responses correspond with these disinhibition effects is not yet clear. In this study, we tested associations among indices of subjective alcohol responses and their correspondence with sensitivity to alcohol-related disinhibition. We recruited recent-binge-drinking emerging adults (N = 82) for a group-administered, placebo-controlled, within-subject, counterbalanced alcohol challenge in a simulated bar laboratory. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed that a 2-factor model with several cross-loadings explained associations among the subjective measures well, replicating a differentiation between stimulant-like and sedative-like subjective responses. Controlling sex and placebo performance, participants who reported greater subjective stimulant-like effects-but not sedative-like effects-experienced more alcohol-related disinhibition, as measured by cued go/no-go task inhibitory failures. This association was small-to-moderate in magnitude. The results of this study highlight the distinction between stimulant-like and sedative-like subjective alcohol effects. They suggest, additionally, that there may be modest commonalities between alcohol's acute impacts on subjective stimulation and objective disinhibition.
Project description:The striatum comprises of multiple functional territories involved with multilevel control of behavior. Disinhibition of different functional territories leads to territory-specific hyperkinetic and hyperbehavioral symptoms. The ventromedial striatum, including the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core, is typically associated with limbic input but was historically linked to high-level motor control. In this study, performed in female Long-Evans rats, we show that the NAc core directly controls motor behavior on multiple timescales. On the macro-scale, following NAc disinhibition, the animals manifested prolonged hyperactivity, expressed as excessive normal behavior, whereas on the micro-scale multiple behavior transitions occurred, generating short movement segments. The underlying striatal network displayed population-based local field potential transient deflections (LFP spikes) whose rate determined the magnitude of the hyperactivity and whose timing corresponded to unitary behavioral transition events. Individual striatal neurons preserved normal baseline activity and network interactions following the disinhibition, maintaining the normal encoding of behavioral primitives and forming a sparse link between the LFP spikes and single neuron activity. Disinhibition of this classically limbic territory leads to profound motor changes resembling hyperactivity and attention deficit. These behavioral and neuronal results highlight the direct interplay on multiple timescales between different striatal territories during normal and pathological conditions.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a key part of the striatal limbic territory. In the current study we show that this classically limbic area directly controls motor behavior on multiple timescales. Focal disinhibition of the NAc core in freely behaving rats led to macro-scale hyperactivity and micro-scale behavioral transitions, symptoms typically associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The behavioral changes were encoded by the striatal LFP signal and single-unit spiking activity in line with the neuronal changes observed during tic expression following disinhibition of the striatal motor territory. These results point to the need to extend the existing parallel functional pathway concept of basal ganglia function to include the study of limbic-motor cross-territory interactions in both health and disease.
Project description:Several, but not all, studies have shown that the monoamine oxidase A functional promoter polymorphism (MAOA-LPR) interacts with childhood adversity to predict adolescent and adult antisocial behavior. However, it is not known whether MAOA-LPR interacts with early life (pre-birth-3 years) stressors to influence behavior in prepubertal children. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, UK, is a community-representative cohort study of children followed from pre-birth onwards. The impact of family adversity from pre-birth to age 3 years and stressful life events from 6 months to 7 years on behavioral disinhibition was determined in 7500 girls and boys. Behavioral disinhibition measures were: mother-reported hyperactivity and conduct disturbances (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) at ages 4 and 7 years. In both sexes, exposure to family adversity and stressful life events in the first 3 years of life predicted behavioral disinhibition at age 4, persisting until age 7. In girls, MAOA-LPR interacted with stressful life events experienced from 6 months to 3.5 years to influence hyperactivity at ages 4 and 7. In boys, the interaction of MAOA-LPR with stressful life events between 1.5 and 2.5 years predicted hyperactivity at age 7 years. The low activity MAOA-LPR variant was associated with increased hyperactivity in girls and boys exposed to high stress. In contrast, there was no MAOA-LPR interaction with family adversity. In a general population sample of prepubertal children, exposure to common stressors from pre-birth to 3 years predicted behavioral disinhibition, and MAOA-LPR- stressful life event interactions specifically predicted hyperactivity.