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A novel FMRI smoking craving and reward paradigm

Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Investigator(s): John Monterosso, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2003 (Cycle 12) Grant #: 12IT-0198 Award: $96,949
Subject Area: Nicotine Dependence
Award Type: Inno Dev & Exp Awards (IDEAS)
Abstracts

Initial Award Abstract
Despite the well-known risks, most smokers find it difficult to quit smoking because the urge to smoke can be very strong. In fact, most attempts to quit are not fully successful. Recent technological advances have made it possible to begin to look at the processes in the brain that underlie the sometimes overwhelming desire to smoke. In previous studies, scientists have looked at the activity in smokers’ brains when they watch videos of people smoking, or when they hear stories about smoking – both experiences known to cause craving for a cigarette. They have found that the desire to smoke is related to increased activity in regions buried deep in the brain – the same regions known to underlie craving for other drugs (for example cocaine) as well as natural motivations (for example sex and hunger). In this research we hope to substantially improve the methods used in these brain imaging studies, by using a specially constructed device that will allow cigarette smoke to be delivered and consumed during the course of brain imaging. Instead of visualizing the brain merely during exposure to stimuli that evoke craving, we will be able to visualize the brain while smokers actually pursue and obtain cigarette smoke.

In this study we will ask participants – current smokers not yet interested in quitting – to go 12 hours (overnight) without smoking, to make certain they will have a strong desire to smoke during the experiment. We will confirm their success at meeting this requirement by testing for particles in their breath that indicate recent smoking. After sufficient training on how to perform the experimental task, subjects will be placed in a brain-imaging device that will take a picture of their brain’s activity every 2.5 seconds. During the time these images are taken, subjects will watch pictures that appear on a screen, and will press a button as quickly as they can whenever an “X” appears on the screen. Some pictures will contain images of smoking. On some rounds of the task, subjects will be signaled that they stand to gain access to cigarette smoke if they respond quickly enough on that trial. Feedback after they respond will indicate whether they succeeded. If they did succeed, smoke from their favorite brand of cigarettes will be delivered after a brief pause through the specialized smoke inhalation device. In this way, brain activity can be examined while individuals pursue, anticipate, and consume actual cigarette smoke.

This type of research might lead to new treatments – the more scientists know about the brain processes that make it so difficult to quit, the better equipped they are to propose medications that could be expected to make it easier to quit. This type of research might also provide a valuable tool for testing the effectiveness of anti-smoking therapies and communications. If scientists could measure the degree to which an individual’s brain is exhibiting “craving activity”, they could test which interventions reduced that activity. Brain activity could be measured first before, and then after an intervention (such as psychotherapy, medication, or even anti-smoking commercials). Interventions that caused the greatest reductions in craving related brain activity would be judged to be the best interventions to pursue.
Publications

Psychosocial history by automated self-report.
Periodical: Federal Practitioner Index Medicus:
Authors: Ainslie G, Monterosso J, Christianado P, Armstrong J ART
Yr: 1998 Vol: 15 Nbr: 3 Abs: Pg: 33-40

Psychosocially enhanced treatment for cocaine dependent women with young children: evidence of efficacy.
Periodical: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Index Medicus:
Authors: Volpicelli JR< Markman I, Monterosso J, Filing J, O'Brien CP ART
Yr: 2000 Vol: 18 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 41-49

Three decision-making tasks in cocaine-dependent patients: do they measure the same construct?
Periodical: Addiction Index Medicus:
Authors: Monterosso J, Ehrman R, Napier K, O'Brien CP ART
Yr: 2001 Vol: 96 Nbr: 12 Abs: Pg: 1825-1837

Predicting treatment response to naltrexone: The influence of craving and family history.
Periodical: American Journal on Addictions Index Medicus:
Authors: Monterosso J, Flannery B, Pettinati H, Oslin D, Rukstalis M, O'Brien C, Volpicelli J ART
Yr: 2001 Vol: 10 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 258-268

Comparing attentional bias to smoking cues in current smokers, former smokers, and non-smokers using a dot-probe task.
Periodical: Drug and Alcohol Dependence Index Medicus:
Authors: Ehrman R, Robbins S, Bromwell M, Lankford M, Monterosso J, Obrien C ART
Yr: 2002 Vol: 67 Nbr: 2 Abs: Pg: 185-191

The fragility of cooperation: an empirical study employing false-feedback in a sequential iterated prioner's dilemma.
Periodical: Journal of Economic Psychology Index Medicus:
Authors: Monterosso J, Ainslie G, Mullen P, Gault B ART
Yr: 2002 Vol: 23 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 437-448

Maximizing versus satisficing: happiness is a matter of choice.
Periodical: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Index Medicus:
Authors: Schwartz B, Ward A, Monterosso J, Lyubomirsky S, White K, Lehman DR ART
Yr: 2002 Vol: 83 Nbr: 5 Abs: Pg: 1178-1197

Effects of methylphenidate treatment discontinuation on cerebral blood flow in prepubescent bous with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Periodical: Journal of Nuclear Medicine Index Medicus:
Authors: Langleben D, Acton P, Elman I, Austin G, Monterosso J, Krikorian G, Ridlehuber H, et al. ART
Yr: 2002 Vol: 43 Nbr: 12 Abs: Pg: 1642-6249

Building blocks of self-control: increased tolerance for delay with bundled rewards.
Periodical: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Index Medicus:
Authors: Ainslie G, Monterosso J ART
Yr: 2003 Vol: 79 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 83-94

Moralization of college grading: performance, effort and moral worth.
Periodical: Basic and Applied Social Psychology Index Medicus:
Authors: Sabini J, Monterosso J ART
Yr: 2003 Vol: 25 Nbr: 3 Abs: Pg: 189-203

Patient attitudes toward treatment predict attendance in clinical pharmacotherapy trials of alcohol and drug treatment.
Periodical: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Index Medicus:
Authors: Pettinatti H, Monterosso J, Lipkin C, Volpicelli J ART
Yr: 2003 Vol: 12 Nbr: 4 Abs: Pg: 324-335

Will as intertemporal bargaining: implications for rationality.
Periodical: University of Pennsylvania Law Review Index Medicus:
Authors: Ainslie G, Monterosso J ART
Yr: 2003 Vol: 151 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 825-862

3-D determinants of object perception under occlusion.
Periodical: Bulletin of the Psychonomatic Society Index Medicus:
Authors: Monterosso J ABS
Yr: 1993 Vol: 31 Nbr: 1 Abs: Pg: 85

Predicting treatment compliance with a new instrument that measures patients attitudes towards pharmacotherapy.
Periodical: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Index Medicus:
Authors: Monterosso JR< Pettinati HM, Volpicelli JR ABS
Yr: 1999 Vol: 22 Nbr: 5 Abs: Pg:

Naltrexone patients' beliefs regarding which randomized treatment group assignment they received.
Periodical: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Index Medicus:
Authors: Monterosso JR< Volpicelli JR, Pettinati HM ABS
Yr: 1999 Vol: 22 Nbr: 5 Abs: Pg:

Psychosocially enhanced treatment for cocaine dependent mothers.
Periodical: NIDA Research Monograph Series Index Medicus:
Authors: Monterosso JR< Volpicelli JR, PEttinati HM, Markman I, Filing CP, O'Brien C ABS
Yr: 0 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg:

An intemporal discounting model of willpower.
Periodical: Quantitative Analyses of Behavior Index Medicus:
Authors: Ainslie G, Monterosso JR ABS
Yr: 1999 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg:

Regional brain activation during performance of a working memory task by cigarette smokers and nonsmokers.
Periodical: Society for Neuroscience Abstracts Index Medicus:
Authors: London ED, Xu J, Mendrex A, Cohen MS, Jarvik M, Simon SL, Monterosso J, et al. ABS
Yr: 2003 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg:

More task-related cortical activity in cigarette smokers than in nonsmokers performing a working memory task.
Periodical: ACNP Annual Meeting Abstracts Index Medicus:
Authors: London ED, Xu J, Rodriquez PF, Mendrek A, Monterosso J, et al. ABS
Yr: 2003 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg: