Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Direct link established between stimulus-response learning, substance abuse

Date:
October 31, 2013
Source:
Douglas Mental Health University Institute
Summary:
A neuroscientist has found that the region of the brain involved in stimulus-response learning is directly linked to the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. More specifically, she discovered that people who resorted to stimulus-response learning smoked more, had double the consumption of alcohol and were more likely to use cannabis.

Véronique Bohbot, PhD, neuroscientist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, found that the region of the brain involved in stimulus-response learning is directly linked to the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. More specifically, she discovered that people who resorted to stimulus-response learning smoked more, had double the consumption of alcohol and were more likely to use cannabis.

Related Articles


The results are published in the November edition of Hippocampus.

We rely on one of two strategies to navigate through our surroundings. One is called the spatial strategy, where we use visual cues and landmarks to develop cognitive maps that enable us to know where we are and how to get where we want to go. This process occurs in the hippocampus. The other is the stimulus-response strategy, which is a kind of auto-pilot: after travelling along the same route on a regular basis, we end up taking it out of habit. This process occurs in the striatum.

People who resort to stimulus-response learning have a more developed striatum and would consume more alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

Factors such as routine, stress and reward-seeking behaviour also contribute to stimulating the striatum, at the expense of the hippocampus.

"The literature indicates that children engage in stimulus-response strategies from a very young age," Véronique Bohbot explains. "Reward-seeking behavior in childhood, especially for immediate rewards like candy or playing action video games, stimulates the striatum and encourages stimulus-response strategies during navigation. This would predispose the child to drug seeking behaviour."

Previous studies have shown that an atrophied hippocampus increases the risk of developing a mental illness such as schizophrenia, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or Alzheimer's disease.

Véronique Bohbot will present her research results on November 13 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, where she will talk about the importance of improving spatial navigation skills to maintain a balance and increase chances of a healthy cognition.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Douglas Mental Health University Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Veronique D. Bohbot, Daniel Del Balso, Kate Conrad, Kyoko Konishi, Marco Leyton. Caudate nucleus-dependent navigational strategies are associated with increased use of addictive drugs. Hippocampus, 2013; 23 (11): 973 DOI: 10.1002/hipo.22187

Cite This Page:

Douglas Mental Health University Institute. "Direct link established between stimulus-response learning, substance abuse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125321.htm>.
Douglas Mental Health University Institute. (2013, October 31). Direct link established between stimulus-response learning, substance abuse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125321.htm
Douglas Mental Health University Institute. "Direct link established between stimulus-response learning, substance abuse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125321.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) — Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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