Neurobiology of Disease


  April 17 - Adaptive plasticity, basic aspects of addiction

John Williams, Ph.D.
Greg Mark, Ph.D.

This lecture will focus on the development of animal models that can be used to study the adaptive mechanisms that mediate addiction. Many people take drugs and relatively few people become addicted. The papers that we will discuss attempt to define addiction in animal models and suggest the cellular studies should use the same models to identify the mechanisms involved in addiction. The papers are short and closely related. Please read them and be ready to discuss the specifics of each as well as the general difference in approach and interpretations.

Here are 3 recent papers that address the difference between taking drugs for fun - and addiction to drugs.

Transition to drug addiction: A negative reinforcement model based on an allostatic decrease in reward function. [ Download ]
Ahmed and Koob, (2005)
Psychopharmacology 180: 473-490

Evidence for addiction-like behavior in the rat. [ Download ]
Deroche-Gamonet, Belin and Piazza (2004)
Science 305: 1014-1017.

Drug seeking becomes compulsive after prolon cocaine self-administration. [ Download ]
Vanderschuren and Everitt (2004)
Science 305: 10171019.