The Titrated Monetary Incentive Delay Task: Sensitivity, convergent and divergent validity, and neural correlates in an RDoC sample

Sophie R. DelDonno, Aimee James Karstens, Brian Cerny, Leah R. Kling, Lisanne M. Jenkins, Jonathan P. Stange, Robin Nusslock, Stewart A Shankman, Scott A. Langenecker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Neuropsychological tests are designed to assay brain function via performance measurements. Many tests corresponding to visual and motor cortex function have been validated. Tests probing reward circuitry, including the ventral striatum (VS), could benefit assessment of numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders in which reward or VS function is disturbed. The present study sought to examine convergent and divergent validity of our modified, titrated version of the Monetary Incentive Delay Task, such that it may in the future stand as a validated neuropsychological test for reward function. Method: Participants were 132 individuals with a history of mood disturbance (HMD) and 43 healthy comparisons, ages 18–30 years. In addition to a standard neuropsychological battery and symptom measures, participants completed a modified version of the Monetary Incentive Delay Task (T-MIDT) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which involved a multistage titration procedure to incrementally increase or decrease the response window time per each participant’s psychomotor speed and optimize individual performance. Results: Across groups after titration, performance on the T-MIDT diverged from measures of processing speed, attention, and spatial working memory, but not inhibitory control. Performance in the HMD group was differentially correlated with executive function measures before and after titration. The reward circuit (e.g., subcortical, insular, medial prefrontal) was activated during reward anticipation. Conclusion: The present findings provide preliminary evidence that the T-MIDT measures a construct distinct from many executive functions and that individualized titration of the task parameters is critical in parsing reward from executive function. The T-MIDT correlated with residual mood symptoms in individuals with remitted depression or bipolar disorder, implying that behavioral or brain activation group differences are only to be observed in the active state of illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-529
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 28 2019


  • Convergence
  • divergence
  • executive function
  • neuropsychology
  • reward circuit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Titrated Monetary Incentive Delay Task: Sensitivity, convergent and divergent validity, and neural correlates in an RDoC sample'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this