Growing up in poor urban neighborhood, Carl Hart watched crack cocaine ravage the lives of his relatives. Early in his research career, Hart set out to find a neurological cure for chemical addiction. But as he began studying addicts, he found that there was more at issue than the neurochemical properties of the illicit drugs. In groundbreaking experiments, he offered crack addicts a choice between a dose of the drug or a monetary reward. When the dose was smaller, addicts often chose the money. When the monetary reward increased, all the participants opted for financial gain over getting high. A tenured science professor at Columbia University — and the first African-American to hold that distinction — Hart has leveraged his research to advocate for policy reforms. He argues that law enforcers focus too heavily on prosecuting drug users while ignoring poverty, racism, and other socioeconomic conditions that spur substance abuse and crime.
An innovative program at Indiana University shows how university generated research can help policymakers tackle real-world issues, including treatment for substance-use disorders. More
Craving is challenging to measure because it is visceral and difficult to express in words or numbers on a scale. To address this challenge, researcher Crewell and colleagues investigated the effectiveness of a nonverbal measure of craving in heavy smokers. More
APS William James Fellow Terry Robinson and APS Fellow Kent Berridge have won the 2019 Grawemeyer Award For Psychology for their research on the role of neural sensitization in drug addiction. More