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Henry H. Yin & Barbara J. Knowlton

In: Handbook of Implicit Cognition and Addiction

Chapter 12: Addiction and Learning in the Brain

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Addiction and Learning in the Brain
Addiction and learning in the brain

Abstract: Addiction can be viewed as a maladaptive form of learning. This chapter discusses the relevant types of learning implicated in addiction and their neural substrates. First, we describe the associative structures of various learning processes—abstract descriptions of the content of learning based on behavioral studies. We then attempt to link various types of adaptive behavior and their modification by distinct learning processes to specific neural substrates. In particular, we argue that parallel but interacting cortico-basal ganglia networks in the cerebrum provide the neural implementations of associative structures from learning theory, and that abnormal interactions between these networks could result in addictive behavior. Finally, we discuss the implications of such a conceptual framework for ...

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