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Competing neurobehavioral decision systems and the neuroeconomics of craving in opioid addiction

Authors Sofis M, Jarmolowicz DP, Martin L

Received 21 June 2014

Accepted for publication 8 August 2014

Published 8 October 2014 Volume 2014:3 Pages 87—98


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor SH Annabel Chen

Michael J Sofis,1 David P Jarmolowicz,1 Laura E Martin2

1University of Kansas, 2University of Kansas Medical Center, Lawrence, KS, USA

Abstract: Craving is typically thought of as a classically conditioned response characterized by an elevated mesolimbic dopamine response to drug-related stimuli. Although this definition has spurred considerable research, the clinical impact of the research conducted has been less robust. The current review takes a more contemporary approach by conceptualizing craving as the breakdown of executive function and relative strengthening of the limbic system, occurring in the presence of conditioned cues, leading to a maladaptive craving response (ie, an increased likelihood of drug consumption). Working from this framework, the present review focuses on four issues in drug craving research: pivotal findings and limitations of cue-reactivity and neurocognitive tasks; two main processes of craving that include self-control and reward-based explanations; integration of neuroeconomic approaches to craving; and the theoretical implications and future directions of drug craving research.

Keywords: craving, competing decision systems, executive function, loss of control, substance abuse

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