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Symposium to Explore Neuroscience of Addiction

Diagram of the human brain with the text "Reprogramming the Brain to Health."

Center for BrainHealth

The Reprogramming the Human Brain Symposium, an annual research and treatment conference organized in part by the Center for BrainHealth, will concentrate this year on the cognitive neuroscience of decision-making and addiction. The event, which brings together some of neuroscience’s most advanced researchers, is co-sponsored by the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at The University of California, Berkeley, where this year’s symposium will be held March 28. In a talk titled “Reward-Centricity in Marijuana Users,” the Center for BrainHealth’s Dr. Francesca Filbey will present data showing that the compulsion for chronic marijuana use is driven by a heightened sensitivity to rewards, not a desire to avoid adverse states. Other symposium topics will include reward-based decision-making; neural mechanisms of goal-directed and habitual control; state and trait modulators of immediate reward bias in alcohol-use disorders; dopamine and decision-making; and the role of dopamine in food-related behavior. Held alternately at the Center for BrainHealth and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, the symposium has featured some of the most distinguished neuroscientists and medical investigators in the country. This year’s keynote speaker will be the Charles L. Branch BrainHealth Award recipient, Dr. Daniel R. Weinberger, director and CEO of the Leiber Institute for Brain Development in Baltimore. The award was created in 2010 to honor neuroscientists who have made noteworthy breakthroughs in brain discoveries. Weinberger, who will discuss gene networks and brain networks, has an international reputation as the pre-eminent scientist in schizophrenia research. He has been at the forefront of scientific investigation into this illness and related disorders for a generation. He is most noted for his expertise in genetic components of schizophrenia, but is also recognized for his insights into dopamine’s role in the brain, which has implications for many other disorders, including addiction. For more information, visit the symposium page. To learn more about participating in Dr. Filbey's study, click here.

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