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Neuroscience Brown Bag Series

Thursday, January 11, 2018,

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  • Location: Wilson Hall • 111 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37240
  • Room: 316

Chris Smith, PhD

Department of Psychology

Vanderbilt University

"Individual differences in choice, subjective valuation, and dopamine signaling as potential markers for drug abuse risk"

People vary in their risk for drug abuse. Delay discounting of rewards, and subjective responses to drugs of abuse, have both been related to increased substance use risk. Here, I will present work showing delay discounting behavior in humans is modulated by age, estradiol, and putative prefrontal dopamine signaling (assessed via genetics) and could serve as a useful intermediate phenotype for alcohol use disorder risk in adults. I will also discuss how individual differences in dopamine signaling measured with Positron Emission Tomography relates to delay discounting behavior, subjective responses to d-amphetamine, personality, and genetics. The importance of considering individual differences when investigating dopamine-dependent cognitive and affective processes will also be addressed. These findings have implications for personalizing dopaminergic treatments for a variety of psychiatric diseases.