Craving and Reward: What's the Connection?
Do some people have a craving and reward system that is stronger than others and which can only be satisfied with illicit drugs and alcohol? Can anything be done to stop this craving? Neuroscientist Dr Valentina Lorenzetti presents the research behind craving and reward.
Dr Valentina Lorenzetti is a Senior Lecturer, Psychological Sciences at the Institute of Psychology and Health and Society, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. She was previously a post-doctoral research fellow of the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, The University of Melbourne. Dr Lorenzetti completed her PhD in 2012 (Department of Psychiatry, the University of Melbourne), which investigated the impact of regular cannabis use on the human brain by employing structural MRI. Dr Lorenzetti has been working on a number of research projects defining brain alterations in a range of psychopathologies (including depression and opiate addiction) and brain development, and the role of psychopathology symptoms in such alterations. Currently, her research focuses on investigating the neural and cognitive differences between this who are and who are not dependent on cannabis, sex differences in problem cannabis and alcohol users and how cannabis affects adolescent neurodevelopment. She is particularly interested in examining the link between emotional processes and cognition by integrating structural and functional MRI data with behavioural and psychophysiology indices.