Better Learning With Beer!

Episode 24 – Memory and the Neuroscience of Addiction

Humans naturally seek out novelty and new experiences, and for some people that can lead to drug addiction. Repeated exposure to drugs can create powerful, persistent memories, and these drug-related memories can lead to addictive behavior and relapse, even after years of sobriety.

In this episode, neuroscientist Dr. Barbara Sorg talks about what happens in the brain when we have new experiences, evidence showing that drug addiction is a chronic brain disease, and how understanding the neuroscience of memories might help treat addiction. She also describes her own lab’s work with using animal models of addiction to weaken memories associated with cocaine.

In this episode, neuroscientist Dr. Barbara Sorg talks about what happens in the brain when we have new experiences, how drugs of abuse alter the structure and function of the brain, and how drug addiction is a chronic brain disease. She also describes her own lab’s work with using animal models of addiction to weaken memories associated with cocaine.

The talk Memory and the Neuroscience of Addiction was given at the Alberta Rose Theatre in December 2016.

Minute ~5:25 — Prefrontal cortex on a roller coaster. Source: Everyday Shortcuts
Minute ~12:30 — Normal and alcoholic brains. Source: WebMD
Minute ~13:15 — Postmortem brains.
Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Minute ~13:50 — Serotonin levels in neurons (monkey) after ecstasy
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Starting minute ~19:16 — 3D Medical Animation of Communication Between Neurons

Minute ~ 20:55 — Brain on cocaine. Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Minute ~32:30 — Perineuronal Nets.
Source: Sorg Lab by Harkness et al., unpublished
Minute ~33:10 — Perineuronal Nets.
Source: Sorg Lab by Harkness et al., unpublished
Minute ~36:55 — Perineuronal nets pre and post cocaine.
Source: Sorg Lab

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Want to come to an event? Visit www.ScienceOnTapORWA.org for more info.
Thanks to Graham Tully and Stephen Perry for sound production.
As always, a final thanks to Jonathan Coulton for the use of his song Mandelbrot Set as our theme music.

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