Neuroscientific approaches to drug addiction traditionally have been based on the premise that addiction is a process that results from brain changes that in turn result from chronic administration of drugs of abuse. An alternative approach views drug addiction as a behavioral disorder in which drugs function as preeminent reinforcers. Although there is a fundamental discrepancy between these two approaches, the emerging neuroscience of reinforcement and choice behavior eventually may shed light on the brain mechanisms involved in excessive drug use. Behavioral scientists could assist in this understanding by devoting more attention to the assessment of differences in the reinforcing strength of drugs and by attempting to develop and validate behavioral models of addiction.
- Drug addiction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience