Psychobiology of novelty seeking and drug seeking behavior.

TitlePsychobiology of novelty seeking and drug seeking behavior.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
JournalBehavioural brain research

There is considerable evidence that high novelty seekers are at increased risk for using drugs of abuse relative to low novelty seekers. This review examines the potential biological mechanism that may help explain the relationship between novelty seeking and drug seeking behavior. Evidence is summarized to suggest that exposure to novelty activates, at least in part, the same neural substrate that mediates the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. It is argued that individual differences in response to novelty and drugs may relate to individual differences in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system of the brain. Individual differences in both novelty seeking and drug seeking behavior, while under some degree of genetic control, appear to be modifiable by early development experiences and this modification may relate to alterations in activity of the mesolimbic DA system. Within the context of this biological formulation, implications for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse are discussed.

Short TitleBehav Brain Res
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