Addiction is costly to both the individuals and society, and relapses after current treatment methods are common. To significantly affect the prevalence of addiction and other reward-related disorders, it is imperative to understand the neural mechanisms underlying reward regulation. Dopamine deficits are well documented in patients with reward disorders. Dopamine is hypothesized to affect reward regulation by modulating response choice and the vigor with which the response is executed. However, no study to date has measured endogenous dopamine function in vivo in humans to directly examine how the dopamine system mediates response choice and response vigor. This research plan will use positron emission tomography (PET) to assess endogenous dopamine function and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify the shared and differential neural correlates of response choice and response vigor. In addition, personality traits associated with addiction will be assessed. The goal of all aims is to develop a multilevel understanding of reward regulation through endogenous dopamine function, brain networks seen with fMRI, personality traits, response choice, and response vigor. The applicant's long-term goals are to identify deviations in the dopamine system leading to reward disorders and to develop effective interventions targeting specific aspects of dopamine function. This fellowship will help the applicant build an independent research program that leads to a productive career as an investigator of reward-driven behavior.

Public Health Relevance

This research plan uses advance neuroimaging techniques to examine brain mechanisms driving reward processes and has implications for addiction and other reward-related disorders. The long-term goal of this research is to develop interventions targeting specific neural deficits of reward disorders.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
Project #
5F32DA036979-03
Application #
9210615
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F02A-J (20)L)
Program Officer
Kautz, Mary A
Project Start
2015-03-01
Project End
2018-02-28
Budget Start
2017-03-01
Budget End
2018-02-28
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2017
Total Cost
$60,990
Indirect Cost
Name
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
965717143
City
Nashville
State
TN
Country
United States
Zip Code
37240
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Smith, C T; Dang, L C; Buckholtz, J W et al. (2017) The impact of common dopamine D2 receptor gene polymorphisms on D2/3 receptor availability: C957T as a key determinant in putamen and ventral striatum. Transl Psychiatry 7:e1091
Dang, Linh C; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R; Smith, Christopher T et al. (2017) FTO affects food cravings and interacts with age to influence age-related decline in food cravings. Physiol Behav :
Smith, Christopher T; Dang, Linh C; Cowan, Ronald L et al. (2016) Variability in paralimbic dopamine signaling correlates with subjective responses to d-amphetamine. Neuropharmacology 108:394-402
Dang, Linh C; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R; Castrellon, Jaime J et al. (2016) Associations between dopamine D2 receptor availability and BMI depend on age. Neuroimage 138:176-183