The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) supports research on the biological, behavioral, and cognitive factors in drug addiction. This symposium highlights some of NIDA-supported cognitive research that deals with risky decisions in substance users, neurobiological studies of risk and impulsivity, the assessment of drug craving, and brain reward mechanisms.
Antoine Bechara, University of Iowa Neurobiology of Uncertainty and Risk: This research applies strategies used in the studies of patients with focal lesions in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to explore possible defects in prefrontal mechanisms of behavioral control and decision-making in substance dependent individuals.
Julie Stout, Indiana University Modeling Risky Decisions in Substance Users: By applying mathematical modeling approaches to addictive behavior that integrates clinical, cognitive, and neuroscience research, the goal is to disentangle decision-making processes in drug abusers.
Jane Powell, Goldsboro College Impulsivity, Reward Motivation, and Drug Abuse: This research investigates drug and natural reward and reports that the neural circuitry activated during drug craving and self-administration largely corresponds to the reward pathways implicated in non-drug reinforcement (e.g. by food, sex, money).
Michael Sayette, University of Pittsburgh Assessment of Craving: A description of several studies that investigate the role of (1) attentional bias; (2)information processing of smoking related information; and (3) temporal cognition in smoking craving and relapse.
Sponsored by NIDA