Clinical challenges and the ageing brain

Chair(s): Julia Klawohn (Berlin), Anja Riesel (Hamburg)

Presenter(s): Raoul Dieterich (Dresden), Ellen de Bruijn (Leiden, Netherlands), Luisa Balzus (Berlin), Anja Riesel (Hamburg), Julia Klawohn (Berlin)

Several forms of psychopathology have been shown to be characterized by aberrant neural correlates of performance-monitoring, including reward, inhibition, and error processing. The current symposium will evaluate new findings on performance-monitoring event-related potentials (ERPs) as markers of mechanisms, risk, and change in relation to depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and excessive behaviors. Raoul Dieterich will present single-trial based associations between neural correlates of feedback and inhibition specific to high binge-watchers compared to non-binge-watching controls, supporting the notion that simultaneous outcome insensitivity and inhibitory deficits may facilitate compulsive watching. Then, Julia Klawohn will present data on impaired reward-processing and emotional reactivity in current depression, demonstrating the utility of these indices for classification and prediction of disorder trajectory. Ellen de Bruijn will present results on social mechanisms in performance-monitoring from an error-responsibility paradigm. Her data indicate that participants with high obsessive-compulsive (OC) characteristics show enhanced error signals to harmful mistakes compared to low OC individuals. Anja Riesel will present data suggesting that the ERN predicts perceived risk and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased stress was in turn associated with a range of psychopathological symptom dimensions including anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Finally, Luisa Balzus will present results from a sham-controlled crossover-study on the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the medial-frontal cortex applied to target aberrant error monitoring in OCD. Collectively, this symposium highlights the clinical utility of neural correlates of performance-monitoring for improving our understanding of pathomechanisms involved in mental disorders and for identifying targets of innovative intervention approaches.