Addiction and the brain: The neurobiology of compulsion and its persistence

  title={Addiction and the brain: The neurobiology of compulsion and its persistence},
  author={Steven E. Hyman and Robert C. Malenka},
  journal={Nature Reviews Neuroscience},
  • S. HymanR. Malenka
  • Published 1 October 2001
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience
People take addictive drugs to elevate mood, but with repeated use these drugs produce serious unwanted effects, which can include tolerance to some drug effects, sensitization to others, and an adapted state — dependence — which sets the stage for withdrawal symptoms when drug use stops. The most serious consequence of repetitive drug taking, however, is addiction: a persistent state in which compulsive drug use escapes control, even when serious negative consequences ensue. Addiction is… 

Habit Learning and Addiction

Drug addiction is a chronic compulsion and relapsing disorder defined as a “pathological pattern of use of a substance”, and characterized by the loss of control in drug-taking-related behaviors, the

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An overview of various theories of addiction to drugs of abuse and the neurobiology involved in elements of the addiction cycle is provided and the role of the mesolimbic pathway in acute drug reinforcement and occasional drug use is focused on.

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Chapter 61 – Addiction




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Repetitive, non-adaptive release of DA in the NAc 'shell' by drugs of abuse would result in abnormal strengthening of stimulus-reward and stimulus-response associations that constitute the basis for craving and compulsive drug use.

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There is a good deal of clinical evidence suggesting that compulsion to resume drug taking is an important part of the addiction syndrome, and treatments based on conditioning principles are still under investigation.

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This review applies some new experimental findings and theoretical ideas about how reinforcers act on the neural mechanisms of learning and memory to the problem of how addictive drugs affect behaviour, suggesting that no single factor is likely to explain either addictive behaviour in general or self-administration in particular.

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