Human behaviour can be externally driven, e.g. catching a falling glass, or self-initiated and goaldirected, e.g. drinking a cup of coffee when one deems it is time for a break. Apathy refers to a reduction of self-initiated goal-directed or motivated behaviour, frequently present in neurological and psychiatric disorders. The amount of undertaken goal-directed behaviour varies considerably in clinical as well as healthy populations. In the present study, we investigated behavioural and neural correlates of self-initiated action in a student sample (N=39) with minimal to high levels of apathy. We replicated activation of fronto-parieto-striatal regions during self-initiation. The neural correlates of self-initiated action did not explain varying levels of apathy in our sample, neither when mass-univariate analysis was used, nor when multivariate patterns of brain activation were considered. Other hypotheses, e.g. regarding a putative role of deficits in reward anticipation, effort expenditure or executive difficulties, deserve investigation in future studies.
- SUBCLINICAL NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS
- ORBITOFRONTAL CORTEX
- PREFRONTAL CORTEX
- BASAL GANGLIA