Activation in mesolimbic and visuospatial neural circuits elicited by smoking cues: evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging.

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2002-06

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The authors sought to increase understanding of the brain mechanisms involved in cigarette addiction by identifying neural substrates modulated by visual smoking cues in nicotine-deprived smokers. METHOD: Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to detect brain activation after exposure to smoking-related images in a group of nicotine-deprived smokers and a nonsmoking comparison group. Subjects viewed a pseudo-random sequence of smoking images, neutral nonsmoking images, and rare targets (photographs of animals). Subjects pressed a button whenever a rare target appeared. RESULTS: In smokers, the fMRI signal was greater after exposure to smoking-related images than after exposure to neutral images in mesolimbic dopamine reward circuits known to be activated by addictive drugs (right posterior amygdala, posterior hippocampus, ventral tegmental area, and medial thalamus) as well as in areas related to visuospatial attention (bilateral prefrontal and parietal cortex and right fusiform gyrus). In nonsmokers, no significant differences in fMRI signal following exposure to smoking-related and neutral images were detected. In most regions studied, both subject groups showed greater activation following presentation of rare target images than after exposure to neutral images. CONCLUSIONS: In nicotine-deprived smokers, both reward and attention circuits were activated by exposure to smoking-related images. Smoking cues are processed like rare targets in that they activate attentional regions. These cues are also processed like addictive drugs in that they activate mesolimbic reward regions.

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10.1176/appi.ajp.159.6.954

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Due, Deborah L, Scott A Huettel, Warren G Hall and David C Rubin (2002). Activation in mesolimbic and visuospatial neural circuits elicited by smoking cues: evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging. Am J Psychiatry, 159(6). pp. 954–960. 10.1176/appi.ajp.159.6.954 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10131.

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Scholars@Duke

Huettel

Scott Huettel

Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Research in my laboratory investigates the brain mechanisms underlying economic and social decision making; collectively, this research falls into the field of “decision neuroscience” or "neuroeconomics". My laboratory uses fMRI to probe brain function, behavioral assays to characterize individual differences, and other physiological methods (e.g., eye tracking, pharmacological manipulation, genetics) to link brain and behavior. Concurrent with research on basic processes, my laboratory has also investigated the application of new analysis methods for fMRI data, including functional connectivity analyses, pattern classification analyses, and combinatoric multivariate approaches. We have also been applying computational methods to problems in behavioral economics and consumer decision making.  

I have also been very active in outreach, mentorship, and educational activities; as examples, I am lead author on the textbook Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Sinauer Associates; 3rd edition in 2014), I teach Fundamentals of Decision Science, Decision Neuroscience and Neuroethics, and many of my postdoctoral and graduate trainees now lead research laboratories of their own.

Rubin

David C. Rubin

Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

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My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory and oral traditions, as well as prose. I have also studied memory as it is more commonly done in experimental psychology laboratories using lists. In addition to this purely behavioral research, which I plan to continue, I work on memory in clinical populations with the aid of a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study PTSD and on the underlying neural basis of memory the aid of a National Institute of Aging grant to study autobiographical memory using fMRI.






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