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Development of alcohol-associated cues and cue-induced brain activation in alcoholics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2020

J. Wrase*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry of the Charité, Humboldt-University of Berlin, Schumannstr. 20/21, 10117 Berlin, Germany
S.M. Grüsser
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Unit, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany
S. Klein
Affiliation:
Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany Department of NMR-Research, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
C. Diener
Affiliation:
Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
D. Hermann
Affiliation:
Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
H. Flor
Affiliation:
Department of Neuropsychology, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
K. Mann
Affiliation:
Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
D.F. Braus
Affiliation:
Department of NMR-Research, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
A. Heinz
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry of the Charité, Humboldt-University of Berlin, Schumannstr. 20/21, 10117 Berlin, Germany
*
*Corresponding author. E-mail address:jana.wrase@charite.de (J. Wrase).
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Summary

The objective of this study was to develop new standardized alcohol-associated cues and assess their effects on brain activation with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Pictures of alcoholic and neutral beverages and affectively neutral pictures were presented to 44 abstinent alcoholics and 37 age-matched healthy control subjects. We assessed the skin conductance response, and the elicited arousal and valence. Alcoholics and control subjects did not differ in arousal, valence or skin conductance response evoked by alcohol-associated and affectively neutral stimuli, while nonalcoholic beverages were rated as more unpleasant and arousing by alcoholics compared with control subjects. In the fMRI pilot study, alcohol and abstract pictures were presented to six abstinent alcoholics and induced a significant activation of brain areas associated with visual emotional processes such as the fusiform gyrus, parts of the brain reward system (basal ganglia and orbitofrontal gyrus) and further brain regions in the frontal and parietal cortices associated with the attention network. These observations suggest that standardized pictures of alcoholic beverages can be used to assess brain circuits involved in the processing and evaluation of alcohol cues.

Type
Short communication
Copyright
Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2002

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Development of alcohol-associated cues and cue-induced brain activation in alcoholics
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