editore: Oxford University Press
In the past two decades, there have been astonishing advances in our understanding of the neurobiological basis and nature of drug addiction. We now know the initial molecular sites of action, at identified receptors, of virtually all of the major drugs of abuse including cocaine, heroin, and amphetamine, as well as legal drugs such as nicotine and alcohol. We also understand the main components of a 'reward system' and its connections to major brain regions involved in motivation and emotion, such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. The Neurobiology of Addiction describes the latest advances in our understanding of addiction. It brings together world class researchers to debate the nature and extent of addiction, as well as its causes, consequences, and treatment. The focus of the book is on the brain processes underlying addiction, in terms of neural systems, neurochemical basis, and molecular changes. Several types of addiction are discussed ranging from illicit drugs - cocaine, amphetamine, and heroin to legal drugs - alcohol and nicotine. In addition, it explores increasingly common behavioural addictions such as gambling and obesity. Included are chapters on vulnerability to addiction, genetic factors, opponent motivational processes, animal models, relapse, cognitive deficits associated with drug abuse, new pharmacological treatments, and current controversies concerning different neuropsychological theories of addiction. Throughout, it reports on cutting edge research using brain imaging, and state of the art molecular methodology. The book will make fascinating reading for students and teachers in the field of neuroscience, pharmacology and psychology, as well as experts in the field.