Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neural mechanism underlying drug cravings

Date:
January 28, 2013
Source:
RIKEN
Summary:
Addiction may result from abnormal brain circuitry in the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls decision-making. Researchers report that the lateral and orbital regions of the frontal cortex interact during the response to a drug-related cue and that aberrant interaction between the two frontal regions may underlie addiction.

Addiction may result from abnormal brain circuitry in the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls decision-making. Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Molecular Imaging Science in Japan collaborating with colleagues from the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University in Canada report that the lateral and orbital regions of the frontal cortex interact during the response to a drug-related cue and that aberrant interaction between the two frontal regions may underlie addiction.

Their results are published January 28 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cues such as the sight of drugs can induce cravings and lead to drug-seeking behaviors and drug use. But cravings are also influenced by other factors, such as drug availability and self-control. To investigate the neural mechanisms involved in cue-induced cravings the researchers studied the brain activity of a group of 10 smokers, following exposure to cigarette cues under two different conditions of cigarette availability. In one experiment cigarettes were available immediately and in the other they were not. The researchers combined a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

The results demonstrate that in smokers the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) tracks the level of craving while the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DPFC) is responsible for integrating drug cues and drug availability. Moreover, the DPFC has the ability to suppress activity in the OFC when the cigarette is unavailable. When the DPFC was inactivated using TMS, both craving and craving-related signals in the OFC became independent of drug availability.

The authors of the study conclude that the DLPFC incorporates drug cues and knowledge on drug availability to modulate the value signals it transmits to the OFC, where this information is transformed into drug-seeking action.

"We demonstrate that in smokers, cravings build up in the OFC upon processing of cigarette cues and availability by the DFPC. What is surprising is that this is a neural circuit involved in decision making and self-control, that normally guides individuals to optimal behaviors in daily life." Explains Dr. Hayashi, from RIKEN, who designed and conducted the fMRI and TMS experiments.

"This research uncovers the brain circuitry responsible for self-control during reward-seeking choices. It is also consistent with the view that drug addiction is a pathology of decision making." According to Dr. Alain Dagher, a neurologist at the Montreal Neurological Institute.

These findings will help understand the neural basis of addiction and may contribute to a therapeutic approach for addiction.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RIKEN. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Takuya Hayashi, Ji Hyun Ko, Antonio P. Strafella, Alain Dagher. Dorsolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex interactions during self-control of cigarette craving. PNAS, January 2013 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1212185110

Cite This Page:

RIKEN. "Neural mechanism underlying drug cravings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128151914.htm>.
RIKEN. (2013, January 28). Neural mechanism underlying drug cravings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128151914.htm
RIKEN. "Neural mechanism underlying drug cravings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128151914.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins