Abstract: Historically, neuroscientific research into addiction has emphasized affective and reinforcement mechanisms as the essential elements underlying the pursuit of drugs, their abuse, and difficulties associated with abstinence. However, research over the last decade or so has shown that cognitive control systems, associated largely but not exclusively with the frontal lobes, are also important contributors to drug use behaviors. Here, we focus on inhibitory control and its contribution to both current use and abstinence. A body of evidence points to impaired inhibitory abilities across a range of drugs of abuse. Typically, studies suggest that substance-abusing individuals are characterized by relative hypoactivity in brain systems underlying inhibitory control. In contrast, abstinent users tend to show either normal or supernormal levels of activity in the same systems attesting to the importance of inhibitory control in suppressing the drug use urges that plague attempts at abstinence. In this chapter, the brain and behavioral basis of response inhibition will be reviewed, with a focus on neuroimaging studies of response inhibition in current and abstinent drug abusers.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).