Neuroimaging human drug addiction

P. A. Woicik, N. Alia-Klein, N. D. Volkow, R. Z. Goldstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Drug addiction is a chronic central nervous system disease marked by compulsive drug use despite negative life consequences. Neuroimaging technology has significantly impacted drug addiction research by revealing the complex neural circuits underlying behaviors and symptoms associated with the disease. In this chapter, we explore the addiction syndrome by examining its emotional and cognitive behavioral components with a particular focus on reward valuation and inhibitory control and the brain regions and circuits that subserve them. An overview of the neurobiological theories of addiction is provided and an attempt is made to weave them into a unified brain-behavior theoretical model. This model expands traditional concepts of drug addiction that emphasize limbic-regulated responses to reward to the involvement of the frontal cortex throughout the addiction cycle. These recent neurobehavioral advances can help guide the development of treatment for drug dependence and offer insight into the neurobiology underlying broader human phenomenology that encompasses motivation and free will.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImaging in CNS Drug Discovery and Development
Subtitle of host publicationImplications for Disease and Therapy
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9781441901330
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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