Posted May 20 2019
Humans - and animals - experience increasing levels of drug craving if drug use is followed by a longer drug-free period. This increase in drug craving leads to relapsing drug use. The goal of this study was to determine whether and how a population of neurons in the prefrontal cortex contribute to the increase in cocaine motivation that results from a drug-free period.
The research showed that neurons in the prefrontal cortex that have been implicated in "stopping" drug-seeking have degraded neural representations of the drug context and drug seeking following a longer drug-free period.