Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurosci. 2008 Apr 30;28(18):4583-91. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0086-08.2008.

Why we like to drink: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of the rewarding and anxiolytic effects of alcohol.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. gilmanj@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

People typically drink alcohol to induce euphoria or reduce anxiety, and they frequently drink in social settings, yet the effect of alcohol on human brain circuits involved in reward and emotion has been explored only sparingly. We administered alcohol intravenously to social drinkers while brain response to visual threatening and nonthreatening facial stimuli was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Alcohol robustly activated striatal reward circuits while attenuating response to fearful stimuli in visual and limbic regions. Self-ratings of intoxication correlated with striatal activation, suggesting that activation in this area may contribute to subjective experience of pleasure and reward during intoxication. These results show that the acute pharmacological rewarding and anxiolytic effects of alcohol can be measured with fMRI.

PMID:
18448634
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2730732
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk