SC 212 – The Addictive Brain. Class presentations available for viewing.

Eighty million Americans can be considered addicts. Each of us probably knows someone who has been affected, or we may have been addicts ourselves (for example, with cigarettes or coffee). The convergence of psychology and neuroscience has led to a new understanding of the specific changes in the brain that are associated with addiction. These lectures will describe the changes that chemicals or behaviors have been shown to induce in the brain that result in the hallmarks of addiction: abuse, dependence and craving.

January 3: The basics of addiction, the neuroscience of reward, chronic drug use and the reward system

January 10: The genetics of addiction, how drugs affect the brain, cravings for coffee and cigarettes

January 17: Alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine

January 24: Opioids, street drugs and prescription medications

January 31: Gambling, junk food, pornography, and video games

Class Presentations:






Presenter: (Via Great Courses DVD):

Thad A. Polk, Ph.D., Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan

Developer/ Discussion Leader:

John B. Bush, Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley. John is an OLLI STEM Committee member and has taught many popular OLLI classes.


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