Deep insights into the structural, molecular and functional phenotypes underlying addiction have been made possible through in vivo neuroimaging techniques implemented in non-human and human primates. In addition to providing evidence that many of the neural alterations detected in stimulant-dependent individuals can emerge solely through experience with drugs, these studies have identified potential biological phenotypes that influence addiction liability. Here, we review recent advances that have been made in understanding the pathophysiology of stimulant addiction using neuroimaging techniques in non-human primates. Evidence indicates that dysfunction of the dopamine system can be both a cause and consequence of stimulant use and that this bi-directional relationship may be mediated by the ability of individuals to exert inhibitory control over behaviors. Further, recent data has demonstrated an involvement of the serotonin system in addiction-related behaviors and neurobiology, suggesting that the relationship between dopamine and serotonin systems may be altered in addiction. This approach aids in the development of novel targets that can be used in the treatment of addiction.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Public Health Service grants F31-DA028812 , T32-DA024635 and R01-DA031852 .