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New Research On Addiction And The Brain

In this Saturday, March 2, 2013 photo, a woman smokes a cigarette while sitting in her truck in Hayneville, Ala.

A woman smokes a cigarette while sitting in her truck in Hayneville, Ala. (Dave Martin/AP)

What if scientists could trigger an addiction in your brain to a substance you’ve never actually experienced before? The science is possible, at least in mice — researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School were able to give mice withdrawal symptoms to nicotine, even though the mice had never had any before.

That’s just one piece of some exciting new research by scientists at UMass, who are looking into the neurological connections of addiction. That’s the subject of the fourth in our continuing WBUR series, “Brain Matters: Reporting from the Frontlines of Neuroscience.”

Guests

Deborah Becker, WBUR reporter. She tweets @wburdebbecker.

Dr. Judson Brewer, director of research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness. He tweets @JudsonBrewer.

More

WBUR: How Addiction Can Affect Brain Connections

  • “Among the findings of some University of Massachusetts Medical School scientists is that addiction appears to permanently affect the connections between areas of the brain to almost ‘hard-wire’ the brain to support the addiction.”

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