BACKGROUND: Exteroception involves processes related to the perception of environmental stimuli important for an organism's ability to adapt to its environment. As such, exteroception plays a critical role in conditioned response. In addiction, behavioral and neuroimaging studies show that the conditioned response to drug-related cues is often associated with alterations in brain regions including the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex, an important node within the default mode network dedicated to processes such as self-monitoring.
BACKGROUND: Prenatal cannabis exposure has been linked to addiction vulnerability, but the neurobiology underlying this risk is unknown. METHODS: Striatal dopamine and opioid-related genes were studied in human fetal subjects exposed to cannabis (as well as cigarettes and alcohol). Cannabis-related gene disturbances observed in the human fetus were subsequently characterized with an animal model of prenatal ?-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (.15 mg/kg) exposure.
Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and debilitating psychiatric disorders. Owing to the complex aetiology of anxiety disorders, translational studies involving multiple approaches, including human and animal genetics, molecular, endocrinological and imaging studies, are needed to get a converging picture of function or dysfunction of anxiety-related circuits.
Two experiments tested the hypothesis that self-evaluation can serve as a source of interpersonal attitudes. In the first study, self-evaluation was manipulated by means of false feedback. A subsequent learning phase demonstrated that the co-occurrence of the self with another individual influenced the evaluation of this previously neutral target. Whereas evaluative self-target similarity increased under conditions of negative self-evaluation, an opposite effect emerged in the positive self-evaluation group.
OBJECTIVE: Most research on the effects of severe psychological stress has focused on stress-related psychopathology. Here, the author develops psychobiological models of resilience to extreme stress. METHOD: An integrative model of resilience and vulnerability that encompasses the neurochemical response patterns to acute stress and the neural mechanisms mediating reward, fear conditioning and extinction, and social behavior is proposed.