View Full Version : Interesting research on impulsivity

11-15-13, 12:09 PM
Interesting research on impulsivity in Science Daily News (

From the release:

This willingness to take a smaller reward right away rather than a larger, delayed reward, called "temporal discounting," is a common feature of "combined type" ADHD, which specifically lists impulsivity among its diagnostic criteria, Populin says.

When the monkeys were given a dose of methylphenidate, the active ingredient of the common ADHD drug Ritalin, they chose the delayed reward more frequently.Thought it might be of interest


11-15-13, 12:46 PM
What I wonder is Ritalin acting as a sustained reward to curb our reward system?

Or is it really fixing a specific problem causing the impulsiveness?

11-15-13, 03:42 PM
What I wonder is Ritalin acting as a sustained reward to curb our reward system?

Or is it really fixing a specific problem causing the impulsiveness?

My answer to that is the same as the answer to the question of what happens when you cross an elephant and a rhinoceroses.

You get............An "Eleifino"

You can groan now.


11-15-13, 04:06 PM
In my experience at least, it's hard to ignore the implications of impulsivity as it relates to the brain's reward system. I'd take it a step further than small reward vs big reward, in that I don't get much of a sense of accomplishment in most of what I do. Yet, I can end up stuck on the internet for hours just waiting for my message box to light up...

thanks for sharing.

11-15-13, 04:10 PM
I do the same. I think most times working would actually be more fun and interesting than procrastinating but maybe it's not just about rewards. Maybe in the absence of an immediate reward our brain just chooses the easiest least effort requiring task. Maybe the absence of effort is a reward in itself.

11-17-13, 02:20 PM
Noting this portion of the article -

Impulsivity, Rewards and Ritalin: Monkey Study Shows Tighter Link (

Some scientists have thought that temporal discounting in ADHD may result from cognitive processing, which relies on the highly evolved frontal cortex in the brain. The new results support an alternative, but less common, hypothesis: that temporal discounting is linked to the reward-processing mechanism, which is governed by more primitive parts of the brain.

Umm ADHD impulse control NOT a result of inadequate EF !!!!

I shall await further scientific testing before engaging the traditional "I told you so" . . . . dance.

Here is an interesting approach to impulsive behavior verses reward system - It is worthy to consider that there are time when delaying response in order to deliberate NOT a good thing.

Impulsivity and Rapid Decision-Making for Reward (

We observed an association between Traffic Light anticipation (anticipatory rate of rise; penalties; reward) and UPPS lack of premeditation. This was replicated in the statistically related motor impulsivity subscale of the BIS-11. More highly impulsive individuals (according to self-report) were more likely to make anticipatory decisions, and in consequence they incurred more penalties. Overall, however, these individuals accumulated higher mean reward, since many of their responses occurred very briefly after green onset rather than just before it.

Impulsivity can be defined as a predisposition to act with an inadequate degree of deliberation, forethought or control. However, in certain contexts – such as when an opportunity is available for a limited period of time – a degree of “functional” impulsivity might actually be adaptive (Dickman, 1990).

Here, we present data from a Traffic Light paradigm in which it is beneficial to respond in an “impulsive,” anticipatory manner. Participants scoring more highly on a specific dimension of self-reported impulsivity (UPPS lack of premeditation) show more anticipatory behavior and in consequence, accumulate higher reward.

~Underlining in source quotes added by me~

To view impulsiveness as strictly an impairment in all environments is a nothing more than a way to purposefully narrowing down the possible findings. I indicate this by saying = People find that which they seek researchers are no exception.

I was especially interested in the manner in which the traditional green light test was modified as a way of seeking the difference between functional impulsiveness and dysfunctional.

I live where finding poisonous snakes under boards is a real possibility and understand that planned out behaviors is NOT always conducive to survival

Heck I was thrilled some one in science finally recognized such a thing as functional impulsiveness existed in real life and accounted for such.