An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Watch: Alumni Faculty Discuss the Addicted Brain

  • Elisabeth O'Donnell

What do rats and cigarettes have in common? Each were topics of discussion during the MIT Alumni Association’s Faculty Forum Online, Alumni Edition, “The Addicted Brain.” Amy Lynn Meadows '03, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Kentucky; Evan D. Morris '82, professor of radiology and biomedical imaging: biomedical engineering, psychiatry at Yale University; and Nuné Martiros '08, PD '16, PhD '16, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, participated in the webcast to discuss their work on the topic at their respective institutions.

“Addiction is very much a disorder in which there's overexpression of habitual behavior,” says Martiros. “A certain trigger can cause the cascade of habitual behaviors, which lead to the drug taking, and it's a self-reinforcing cycle.”

Viewers can watch a recording of the live webcast, in which the trio discuss studies ranging from teaching rats a basic habitual action sequence, to understanding behaviors associated with developing a habit, to observing PET scans of smokers while they are smoking a cigarette

Tune in to the next Faculty Forum Online tomorrow, Tuesday, July 24, noon.12:45 p.m. ET, when Don MacKenzie SM '09, PhD '13, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington will address numerous factors pertaining to autonomous vehicles.

Catch up on previous panels from the Faculty Forum Online here: