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By David Nutt & Liam J. Nestor & Liam Nestor

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Like the DLPFC and ACG, the VLPFC receives dopamine projections from the midbrain VTA via the mesocortical pathway. Substance-induced alterations in dopamine midbrain VTA signalling, therefore, will be communicated to the VLPFC (and the DLPFC and ACG). Such alterations are likely to have a detrimental impact on the integrity of cognitive control processes in these regions. Substance addiction is characterized by continued use and recurrent relapse (despite serious negative consequences). Decrements, particularly in cognitive inhibitory control, may be a core feature of the disease and for which psychological and pharmacological treatments may be used to protect against relapse.

E. fast) short-burst firing. VTA dopamine neurons also provide a predictive signal about rewards. Dopamine released from VTA neurons binds with dopamine 55 D1 and D2 receptors (D1/2R) in the VS. Binding to the D1R increases the excitability of neurons. Binding to DR2 decreases excitability. Dopamine binding to D2R is generally thought to encode information related to expected reward value and the reward itself. A number of other neurotransmitter systems influence VS reward circuitry. Inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are located in the VS.

These 60 cellular mechanisms are thought to underlie information storage. g. VTA). These cellular mechanisms are rapidly established, maintained for long periods of time, and strengthened by repetition. g. Amyg, NAcc/VS, OFC). Through the over-stimulation of dopamine neurons in response to the rewarding effects of substances of addiction, conditioned functional connections are established in the brain. This conditioning facilitates the consolidation of abnormal memory traces connected to the pleasure and ‘liking’ of substance use.

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

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