Psych_115_-_Addictions

Psych_115_-_Addictions - PSYCH 115 PRINCIPLES OF BEHAVIORAL...

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PSYCH 115 – PRINCIPLES OF BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE Addictions
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Why Neurobiology? Drugs with abuse liability exert their psychoactive effects by altering chemical signaling in the brain Why methamphetamine differs from aspirin, for example, is that it changes the activity of neural pathways responsible for pleasure and reward , while aspirin does not This is due to their dissociable pharmacological effects
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DRUGS ARE CHEMICAL LIGANDS THAT INTERACT WITH BRAIN NEUROTRANSMITTER SYSTEMS AND CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE FEEL BY ALTERING THESE SIGNALS
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These Actions are Evolutionarily Conserved
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Drugs Act on Dopamine Systems Methamphetamine acts by entering the synaptic terminals of neurons that normally release dopamine; by interfering with biochemical processes, it causes dopamine to leak out in massive amounts
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Nucleus Accumbens fMRI further reveals a functional activation in the nucleus accumbens produced by methamphetamine administration to otherwise naïve humans Vollm et al. (2004) Neuropsychopharmacol ., 29: 1715-1722
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Other Drugs… …produce similar effects (increased dopamine output in the nucleus accumbens) but do it by different pharmacological mechanisms These include nicotine, ethanol, heroin, cocaine, cannabis So does… S Consumption of a high sugar/high fat food S Sex S Winning money S Playing a fun video game
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Instrumental Learning Because drugs are rewards, they support instrumental learning Actions associated with drug intake are reinforced, occurring with increasingly higher probability Mateo et al. (2005) Neuropsychopharmac ol. , 30 : 1455–1463
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Cause and Effect Destruction of DA neurons or blockade of DA receptors prevents cocaine self- administration in rats If cocaine is unable to block the dopamine transporter, cocaine reinforcement is also blocked Thomsen et al. (2009 ) J Pharmacol Exp Ther ., 331(1): 204– 211.
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Dynamic Adjustments…
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