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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Oct 12;363(1507):3137-46. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0093.

Review. The incentive sensitization theory of addiction: some current issues.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Biopsychology Program, The University of Michigan, East Hall, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1109, USA. ter@umich.edu

Abstract

We present a brief overview of the incentive sensitization theory of addiction. This posits that addiction is caused primarily by drug-induced sensitization in the brain mesocorticolimbic systems that attribute incentive salience to reward-associated stimuli. If rendered hypersensitive, these systems cause pathological incentive motivation ('wanting') for drugs. We address some current questions including: what is the role of learning in incentive sensitization and addiction? Does incentive sensitization occur in human addicts? Is the development of addiction-like behaviour in animals associated with sensitization? What is the best way to model addiction symptoms using animal models? And, finally, what are the roles of affective pleasure or withdrawal in addiction?

PMID:
18640920
PMCID:
PMC2607325
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2008.0093
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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