Download Addiction by David Nutt & Liam J. Nestor & Liam Nestor PDF

By David Nutt & Liam J. Nestor & Liam Nestor

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Sample text

They are rewarding, particularly during the initial phases of use, because they induce a conscious experience of pleasure. This pleasure induces ‘liking’. ‘Liking’ is related to activity in discrete hedonic ‘hot spots’ within the reward circuitry of the brain (see Chapter 4). Activity in these ‘hot spots’ has been shown to be increased in animals, together with ‘liking’ reactions, when they are stimulated. Unconscious (or implicit) ‘liking’ reactions to hedonic stimuli are also possible without the conscious feelings of pleasure.

These processes involve a network of independent and overlapping brain circuits. These processes involve reward, motivation, learning/ memory, and cognition. Reward involves dopamine in the ventral striatum. Learning involves dopamine in the ventral tegmental area and ventral striatum. Memory involves glutamate in the amygdala and hippocampus. Motivation and drive involve GABA and dopamine in the orbitofrontal cortex. Cognition involves dopamine and glutamate in the prefrontal cortex. These processes are disrupted by substances of addiction.

Motivation and drive are important elements for the survival of the species. They involve a vigorous goal-directed pursuit of rewards. Goal-directed behaviour involves the integration and processing of information about multiple changing internal states and environmental conditions. The initiation and organization of motivated behaviour depends on the dopamine system. Projections from the VTA to VS are, in part, responsible for initiating the motivation for rewards. The NAcc portion serves as a critical interface 57 between limbic and motor systems—linking motivation with action.

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