The Addictive Brain

The Addictive Brain
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12 videos in this collection

Addiction 101
Begin your course by defining "addiction," which is diagnosed based on characteristics such as abuse, dependence, and craving. Professor Polk then surveys the history of drug use, from ancient history…
The Psychology and Neuroscience of Reward
Explore the brain's mechanisms for learning from reinforcement. You'll start with the psychological aspects, discovering the way humans learn by a series of trials and rewards. Then you'll find out…
How Addiction Hijacks the Brain
Here you'll examine the ways addiction alters the brain by numbing the pleasure center, sensitizing the dopamine system, and inhibiting the prefrontal cortex. Combined, these altered brain functions lead to…
Genetics - Born to Be an Addict?
Investigate how people may be susceptible to addiction on a genetic level. Thanks to studies of twins and DNA analysis, scientists are homing in on the genes that predispose us…
Your Brain on Drugs
Shift your attention from the nature of addiction to the nature of drugs. Here you'll delve into the process of neurochemical transmission and see how drugs mimic this activity by…
Why We Crave Coffee and Cigarettes
Caffeine and nicotine are two of the most common psychoactive drugs in our society. How do they work? How dangerous are they? After reviewing how each of these drugs affects…
Alcohol - Social Lubricant or Drug of Abuse?
Alcohol is often discussed separately from other drugs, but as you'll discover in this lecture, alcohol affects the human body in many of the same ways. Take a close look…
The Science of Marijuana
Although there is no shortage of controversy around marijuana, whose legal status now varies from state to state, the science of this drug may surprise you. Through the lens of…
Stimulants - From Cocaine to Ritalin
From the original recipe for Coca-Cola to treatments for attention deficit disorder, psychostimulant drugs have had remarkable uses. But they have also been dangerously abused in the form of crack…
The Science of Poppies, Pleasure, and Pain
Round out your survey of the world's major drugs with an examination of opium and its derivatives, from regularly prescribed painkillers like codeine and morphine to heroin, often considered the…
The Gambler's Brain
Are drugs the only thing humans can get addicted to? What about behaviors? To answer this question, take a look at what happens inside the brain of a compulsive gambler.…
Junk Food, Porn, Video Games - Addictions?
The course concludes with an exploration of other potentially addictive behaviors. Professor Polk argues that some artificial stimuli - junk food, pornography, and video games to name three - are…

Related videos

Alcohol - Social Lubricant or Drug of Abuse?
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
Alcohol is often discussed separately from other drugs, but as you'll discover in this lecture, alcohol affects the human body in many of the same ways. Take a close look at your brain on alcohol to explore dependence, withdrawal, and genetic susceptibility. Then review several treatment options for alcohol abuse.
The Science of Marijuana
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
Although there is no shortage of controversy around marijuana, whose legal status now varies from state to state, the science of this drug may surprise you. Through the lens of the neuroscientist, Professor Polk tours the effects, and the possible medicinal value, of marijuana.
How Addiction Hijacks the Brain
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
Here you'll examine the ways addiction alters the brain by numbing the pleasure center, sensitizing the dopamine system, and inhibiting the prefrontal cortex. Combined, these altered brain functions lead to strong cravings and a reduced ability to control one's actions. This foray into neuroscience will forever change the way you…
Your Brain on Drugs
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
Shift your attention from the nature of addiction to the nature of drugs. Here you'll delve into the process of neurochemical transmission and see how drugs mimic this activity by binding to neural receptors. This process is responsible for everything from a drug's physical and psychological effects to its potency.
Addiction 101
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
Begin your course by defining "addiction," which is diagnosed based on characteristics such as abuse, dependence, and craving. Professor Polk then surveys the history of drug use, from ancient history through the development of synthetics in the 19th and 20th centuries. Finally, he reviews government regulation and the substantial costs…
The Psychology and Neuroscience of Reward
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
Explore the brain's mechanisms for learning from reinforcement. You'll start with the psychological aspects, discovering the way humans learn by a series of trials and rewards. Then you'll find out what parts of the brain process pleasure, self-control, and craving, and see how the psychology and neuroscience of reward processing…
Genetics - Born to Be an Addict?
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
Investigate how people may be susceptible to addiction on a genetic level. Thanks to studies of twins and DNA analysis, scientists are homing in on the genes that predispose us toward addiction. While there is no single "addiction gene," our DNA can significantly influence whether we become addicts.
Why We Crave Coffee and Cigarettes
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
Caffeine and nicotine are two of the most common psychoactive drugs in our society. How do they work? How dangerous are they? After reviewing how each of these drugs affects the brain - and why nicotine in particular is so addictive - Professor Polk offers several strategies to quit tobacco…
Stimulants - From Cocaine to Ritalin
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
From the original recipe for Coca-Cola to treatments for attention deficit disorder, psychostimulant drugs have had remarkable uses. But they have also been dangerously abused in the form of crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and related drugs. Find out how stimulants work in the brain and why they can be so harmful.
The Science of Poppies, Pleasure, and Pain
Part of the Series: The Addictive Brain
Round out your survey of the world's major drugs with an examination of opium and its derivatives, from regularly prescribed painkillers like codeine and morphine to heroin, often considered the most harmful drug of abuse in the world today. Learn about the neurological effects and treatment options for opiate drugs.
Cognitive Therapy for Addictions - With Bruce S. Liese
Watch Dr. Liese demonstrate his cognitive therapy approach for addictions as he collaborates with the client to identify and change the thought patterns and maladaptive beliefs that relate to addictive behaviors and lead to substance abuse. In this video, Dr. Liese works with a client whose issues include alcohol abuse,…
William Miller on Motivational Interviewing
If you've ever tried to help someone change, you've probably realized that taking the expert role and telling the person what to do often doesn't work, and usually leaves you feeling frustrated. Bill Miller, the founder of Motivational Interviewing, developed an alternative that might be obvious to some and radical…