Neural systems of reinforcement for drug addiction: from actions to habits to compulsion

  title={Neural systems of reinforcement for drug addiction: from actions to habits to compulsion},
  author={Barry J. Everitt and Trevor William Robbins},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
Drug addiction is increasingly viewed as the endpoint of a series of transitions from initial drug use—when a drug is voluntarily taken because it has reinforcing, often hedonic, effects—through loss of control over this behavior, such that it becomes habitual and ultimately compulsive. Here we discuss evidence that these transitions depend on interactions between pavlovian and instrumental learning processes. We hypothesize that the change from voluntary drug use to more habitual and… 

Neural mechanisms underlying the vulnerability to develop compulsive drug-seeking habits and addiction

Evidence showing that impulsivity, a spontaneously occurring behavioural tendency in outbred rats that is associated with low dopamine D2/3 receptors in the nucleus accumbens, predicts both the propensity to escalate cocaine intake and the switch to compulsive drug seeking and addiction is summarized.

Drug Addiction: Updating Actions to Habits to Compulsions Ten Years On.

A decade ago, we hypothesized that drug addiction can be viewed as a transition from voluntary, recreational drug use to compulsive drug-seeking habits, neurally underpinned by a transition from

Neural and psychological mechanisms underlying compulsive drug seeking habits and drug memories – indications for novel treatments of addiction*

  • B. Everitt
  • Psychology, Biology
    The European journal of neuroscience
  • 2014
The potential for developing treatments for addiction is considered, including the possibility of targeting drug memory reconsolidation and extinction to reduce Pavlovian influences on drug seeking as a means of promoting abstinence and preventing relapse.

Motivational Processes Underlying Substance Abuse Disorder.

The neural basis for a number of motivational concepts and how they are changed by repeated drug use are described and it is pointed out that addiction is not monolithic and can depend not only on individual differences between addicts, but also on the neurochernical action of specific drug classes.

A Translation from Goal-Directed to Habitual Control: the Striatum in Drug Addiction

The function of the striatum at the different stages of addiction is elaborated within the associative learning theory framework to highlight the potentially vulnerable targets of addictive drugs.

Compulsive Drug Use and Brain Reward Systems

The aim of this chapter is to review the impact of excessive drug consumption and drug-paired environmental stimuli on brain reward function, discuss the role for reward pathways in driving compulsive drug taking, and present potential neurobiological mechanisms that may underlie these processes.

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

Compulsive drug use and its neural substrates

An overview of animal studies of compulsive drug use and the neural mechanisms involved is provided and mechanisms within the striatum and amygdala that have recently been implicated in the compulsive seeking and taking of alcohol and cocaine are discussed.



The neuropsychological basis of addictive behaviour

Neurobiological mechanisms in the transition from drug use to drug dependence

A motivational learning hypothesis of the role of mesolimbic dopamine in compulsive drug use.

  • G. Di Chiara
  • Biology, Psychology
    Journal of psychopharmacology
  • 1998
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.

Drug Addiction, Dysregulation of Reward, and Allostasis

Dopamine Release in the Dorsal Striatum during Cocaine-Seeking Behavior under the Control of a Drug-Associated Cue

Results showed a marked increase in DA release in the dorsal striatum during drug-seeking, when cocaine cues were presented contingently, but not when the same cue was presented noncontingently, indicating a possible involvement of the dopaminergic innervation of the dorsal Striatum in well established, or habitual, cocaine-seeking behavior.

Drug addiction and its underlying neurobiological basis: neuroimaging evidence for the involvement of the frontal cortex.

An integrated model of drug addiction that encompasses intoxication, bingeing, withdrawal, and craving is proposed, and results imply that addiction connotes cortically regulated cognitive and emotional processes, which result in the overvaluing of drug reinforcers, the undervalued of alternative rein forcers, and deficits in inhibitory control for drug responses.

Neural and psychological mechanisms underlying appetitive learning: links to drug addiction

Involvement of the Dorsal Striatum in Cue-Controlled Cocaine Seeking

Data show that stimulation of DA and AMPA/KA receptors in the dorsal striatum is critical for well established drug seeking that depends on the reinforcing effects of cocaine-associated stimuli, and suggest that the habitual or compulsive quality of persistent drug seeking depends on dorsal striatal mechanisms.