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Drug-addicted individuals show automatic approach tendencies towards drug-related cues, i.e., an approach bias (ApB). Nevertheless, little is known about ApB in tobacco smokers and about the presence of ApB after smoking abstinence. We investigated ApB to smoking cues in heavy tobacco smokers versus never-smokers and studied its relation to smoking(More)
BACKGROUND Opiate-dependent patients can be given several days' worth of maintenance medication to take home. We studied whether the patients chosen to receive take home maintenance medication met the criteria that were published in the guidelines of the German Medical Association. These include, among other things: abstinence from additional consumption of(More)
Behavioral studies have shown an alcohol-approach bias in alcohol-dependent patients: the automatic tendency to faster approach than avoid alcohol compared with neutral cues, which has been associated with craving and relapse. Although this is a well-studied psychological phenomenon, little is known about the brain processes underlying automatic action(More)
OBJECTIVE In alcohol-dependent patients, alcohol cues evoke increased activation in mesolimbic brain areas, such as the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala. Moreover, patients show an alcohol approach bias, a tendency to more quickly approach than avoid alcohol cues. Cognitive bias modification training, which aims to retrain approach biases, has been shown(More)
Acute and chronic alcohol exposure significantly affect behavior but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we used functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping to study alcohol-related changes in resting brain activity and their association with behavior. Heavy drinkers (HD, N=16, 16 males) and normal controls (NM,(More)
The field of imaging genetics traditionally studies unidirectional associations between genes, brain functioning, and behavior. In a recent study by Ursini et al. (J Neurosci 31:6692-6698, 2011), imaging genetics methods are combined with epigenetic marks in living human beings. This approach may lead to a new field of imaging epigenetics, providing more(More)
Alcohol-dependent patients have been shown to faster approach than avoid alcohol stimuli on the Approach Avoidance Task (AAT). This so-called alcohol approach bias has been associated with increased brain activation in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Cognitive bias modification (CBM) has been used to retrain the approach bias with the(More)
Cognitive retraining or cognitive bias modification (CBM) involves having subjects repeatedly perform a computerized task designed to reduce the impact of automatic processes that lead to harmful behavior. We first discuss the theory underlying CBM and provide a brief overview of important research progress in its application to addiction. We then focus on(More)
Neuroimaging studies have documented reduced striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor (D2/D3R) availability in cocaine abusers, which has been associated with impaired prefrontal activity and vulnerability for relapse. However, the mechanism(s) underlying the decreases in D2/D3R remain poorly understood. Recent studies have shown that sleep deprivation is(More)
Impairment in inhibitory control has been proposed to contribute to habitual alcohol use, abuse and eventually dependence. Moreover, alcohol-dependent (AD) patients have shown a loss of gray matter volume (GMV) in the brain, specifically in prefrontal regions associated with executive functions, including response inhibition. To date, no study has evaluated(More)