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Addiction and neural ageing
Addiction and neural ageing

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2 Addiction

2.1 Introduction

Professor Trevor Robbins of Cambridge University, an expert in cognitive neuroscience, commented that:

Our understanding of the nature of drug addiction over the last few decades has depended on several important theoretical insights and empirical findings from studies or experiments conducted from a variety of perspectives – for example: from neuropharmacological studies of the mechanisms of action of drug abuse; from a study of underlying brain systems, using the techniques of basic neuroscience; from the application of cognitive and conditioning theories to the behavioural and psychological mechanisms underlying addiction; from clinical observations of drug addicts; and from sociological studies of the context of drug-taking behaviour.

(SD805 Addiction Literature Research)

It is possible to broaden out these perspectives to include not only drug addiction but also other addictive behaviours. In so doing, a number of specific issues can be defined which provide a scaffold on which you can begin to build a scientific understanding and appreciation of addiction.