Dr. J. David Jentsch is the recipient of the 2011 Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award for Innovative Research in Drug Addiction and Alcoholism. Dr. Jentsch and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, are studying genetic and neurochemical factors that influence individual differences in inhibitory control.
The Scientific Director of NIDA’s Intramural Research Program talks about switching off animals’ compulsive cocaine seeking by optogenetically activating the prefrontal cortex, and the implications of this work for people. In an accompanying podcast, Dr. Bonci walks viewers through experiments that showed that prefrontal cortex activity levels may constitute a simple switch controlling whether or not animals compulsively seek cocaine.
November 2009 Discusses the work of NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, organized to track drug use and provide empirically based information for researchers and service providers.
Describes research findings that show that chronic cocaine abuse may change the production of many proteins in the neurons of the brain’s reward system, aiding in our understanding how the drug causes addiction.