Addiction, in Theory
Gatsby Unit, UCL, London
May 10-12, 2016

Over the last 20 years, principles from computational neuroscience and learning theory have been applied to advance our understanding of the brain circuits mediating simple associative learning and behavioral control. These principles seem to apply to normal behavior in rats, monkeys, and even humans. At the same time, addiction researchers have used increasingly sophisticated animal models and molecular and genetic tools to identify the neural circuits important for drug taking, drug seeking, craving, and a host of other phenomena associated with addiction. Yet the influence of ideas from one field on the other has been only partial, despite the fact that of all the human neuropsychiatric disorders, addiction would seem to be the easiest to model in animals.

The goal of this meeting is to foster new interactions among researchers in these three fields, through a small, discussion-oriented meeting at the Gatsby Unit in London. Presentations will focus on current research on addiction, learning and decision making, and on thoughts regarding where the study of addiction should go next.