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Flashcards in A - Biological Approach Deck (11):
1

For the neurotransmitter explanation (reward pathway), how is addiction initiated?

Reward pathway is responsible for driving out feelings

Addictive drugs or behaviours over stimulate this reward circuit to flood it with dopamine

Neurons in pathway (particularly Ventral Tegmental Arca – VTA) release dopamine which gives a sense o pleasure in the nucleus accumbens

2

For the neurotransmitter explanation (reward pathway), how is addiction maintained?

Addictive behaviours/substances can induce changes in the structure and function of the reward system neurons which can lead to tolerance

Continued over-production of dopamine leads to desensitisation in receptors to compensate – known as ‘downregulation’ which increases desire to engage in behaviour to return to the same level of ‘dopamine high’

The negative state then becomes the dominant force driving their addiction (need to avoid unpleasurable experience)

3

For the neurotransmitter explanation (reward pathway), how is addiction relapsed?

VTA-NA pathways link to other areas of the brain, including the memory areas, help make addicts highly sensitive to reminders of past highs, vulnerable to relapse when stressed, their capacity for self-control has been weakened as their frontal cortex has become less effective at making decisions/judging consequences

4

For the genetic explanation what receptor is linked to addiction?

D2 Dopamine

5

For the genetic explanation, what happens when people have the A1 variant of the D2 dopamine receptor?

They appear to have fewer dopamine receptors in the pleasure centres of the brain

6

For the genetic explanation, how is addiction initiated?

Compensate for this variation by becoming addicted to drugs/activities which increase dopamine levels to increase stimulation of the few receptors they have

7

For the genetic explanation, how is addiction maintained?

Maintain their addiction as it is only when they are smoking/gambling that they feel good

8

For the genetic explanation, how is addiction relapsed?

If a person managed their addiction, their inherited biological vulnerability to addiction which made them more likely to initiate their addiction in the first place would make them more vulnerable to relapse

9

Apply these explanations to smoking

Initiation: get 'pleasure' from nicotine
Maintenance: get withdrawal symptoms
Relapse: reach for a cigarette when stressed

10

Apply these explanations to gambling

Initiation: get 'pleasure' from winning
Maintenance: get withdrawal symptoms
Relapse: remember the winning feeling

11

What is a problem with Comings study?

Not 100% so other factors must cause addiction