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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Aug;23(4):564-72. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.01.025. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Addiction: failure of control over maladaptive incentive habits.

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INSERM U1084 - LNEC & University of Poitiers, INSERM AVENIR Team Psychobiology of Compulsive Disorders, Bâtiment B36, Pôle Biologie Santé, 1 rue Georges Bonnet, 86000 Poitiers, France.


Drug addiction may be associated with a loss of executive control over maladaptive incentive habits. We hypothesize that these incentive habits result from a pathological coupling of drug-influenced motivational states and a rigid stimulus-response habit system by which drug-associated stimuli through automatic processes elicit and maintain drug seeking. Neurally, incentive habits may depend upon an interaction between the basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens core, together with the progressive development of a ventral-to-dorsolateral striatum functional coupling through the recruitment of striato-nigro-striatal dopamine-dependent loop circuitry. Recent evidence suggests that both ventral striatal and central nucleus pathways from the amygdala may be required for the recruitment of DLS-dependent control over habitual behavior.

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