Self-regulation of the dopaminergic reward circuit in cocaine users with mental imagery and neurofeedback

Matthias Kirschner, Ronald Sladky, Amelie Haugg, Philipp Stämpfli, Elisabeth Jehli, Martina Hodel, Etna Engeli, Sarah Hösli, Markus R. Baumgartner, James Sulzer, Quentin J.M. Huys, Erich Seifritz, Boris B. Quednow, Frank Scharnowski & Marcus Herdener
Background Enhanced drug-related reward sensitivity accompanied by impaired sensitivity to non-drug related rewards in the mesolimbic dopamine system are thought to underlie the broad motivational deficits and dysfunctional decision-making frequently observed in cocaine use disorder (CUD). Effective approaches to modify this imbalance and reinstate non-drug reward responsiveness are urgently needed. Here, we examined whether cocaine users (CU) can use mental imagery of non-drug rewards to self-regulate the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra (VTA/SN). We...
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