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Adolescent Thoughts and Feelings Project (ATFP)

Adolescence is associated with marked changes in social behaviour, emotion regulation and inhibition. Perhaps more concerning, we also see increases in anti-social and risk-taking behaviour among adolescents. Past work has linked altered motivational systems to both anti-social behaviour and risk-taking behaviour. These changes in motivational systems can express themselves as changes in reward processing – those high in anti-social behaviour are more sensitive to reward than punishment. 

However, previous research with adolescents investigating the relationship between anti-social behaviour and reward-related neural processes has been largely inconsistent, which may be related to the techniques used. Electroencephalogram (EEG) offers an attractive methodology for investigating the rapid neural mechanisms evoked by feedback stimuli. Two EEG markers have been associated with feedback processing: feedback related negativity (FRN), thought to reflect outcome monitoring; and the P3b, which reflects the encoding of the motivational salience of a reward cue.