Revealing the paradox of drug reward in human evolution

  title={Revealing the paradox of drug reward in human evolution},
  author={Roger J. Sullivan and Edward H. Hagen and Peter Hammerstein},
  journal={Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
  pages={1231 - 1241}
Neurobiological models of drug abuse propose that drug use is initiated and maintained by rewarding feedback mechanisms. However, the most commonly used drugs are plant neurotoxins that evolved to punish, not reward, consumption by animal herbivores. Reward models therefore implicitly assume an evolutionary mismatch between recent drug-profligate environments and a relatively drug-free past in which a reward centre, incidentally vulnerable to neurotoxins, could evolve. By contrast, emerging… 

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