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Addiction. 2001 Jan;96(1):103-14.

Incentive-sensitization and addiction.

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  • 1Department of Psychology (Biopsychology Program), University of Michigan, 525 E. University (East Hall), Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. ter@umich.edu

Abstract

The question of addiction concerns the process by which drug-taking behavior, in certain individuals, evolves into compulsive patterns of drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior that take place at the expense of most other activities, and the inability to cease drug-taking, that is, the problem of relapse. In this paper we summarize one view of this process, the "incentive-sensitization" view, which we first proposed in 1993. Four major tenets of the incentive-sensitization view are discussed. These are: (1) potentially addictive drugs share the ability to alter brain organization; (2) the brain systems that are altered include those normally involved in the process of incentive motivation and reward; (3) the critical neuroadaptations for addiction render these brain reward systems hypersensitive ("sensitized") to drugs and drug-associated stimuli; and (4) the brain systems that are sensitized do not mediate the pleasurable or euphoric effects of drugs (drug "liking"), but instead they mediate a subcomponent of reward we have termed incentive salience (drug "wanting").

PMID:
11177523
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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