By combining functional neuroimaging techniques with
cognitive behavioral testing, we can begin to understand
and better treat complex behaviors such as addiction.
Technological advances in brain imaging have revolutionized our capacity to understand the brain circuits that underlie addictive behaviors, such as alchol use disorder (AUD). The most significant advancement in brain imaging research has been to identify core nodes of the large-scale circuits that are dysfunctional in mental health disorders.
Therefore, the primary goal of this research is to define emotion and reward circuits in men and women Veterans with AUD using well-established paradigms as subjects undergo functional magnetic resonance imaging, and determine the utility of emotion and reward circuits in predicting abstinence versus relapse, along with risk of relapse. To explore these mechanisms further, we hope to examine the impact of gender, psychiatric and other drug use co-morbidities.