Do Stimulant Drugs Prevent Habituation of Reinforcer Effectiveness in Humans


Research suggests that smokers’ daily behaviors are enhanced by nicotine, an addictive chemical in tobacco. For instance, the simple act of listening to music becomes more pleasurable during cigarette consumption. Among nonsmokers, however, pleasure derived from every-day activities tends to decrease when those activities are consistently repeated. To test the hypothesis that nicotine dependence may be partially maintained via the enhancement of rewarding behaviors associated with cigarette consumption, smokers will complete a brief computer task while brain activity is continuously recorded. Most importantly, we will examine changes in brain activity during regular smoking and while individuals temporarily abstain from smoking. Funded by RIA's Howard T. Blane Director’s Award for Development of Innovative Research in the Addictions (BDAA), 2014-2015.