Reward and Addiction Exam Revision

sorts of things you should probably know 

  • Be able to explain the intracranial self-stimulation paradigm and delineate the reward pathways of the brain.
  • Be able to discuss how dopamine is implicated in drug reward and critically evaluate the empirical evidence
  • Demonstrate knowledge of acute and chronic drug effects particularly in relation to dopamine
  • Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of the various biological theories of addiction and be able to articulate their strengths and limitations


typical exam questions

1) Evaluate the evidence that dopamine is critical for drug reward 

2) Critically evaluate how well evidence from the study of drug effects, pleasure centres and addiction support a central role for dopamine. 

3) Discuss the role of dopamine in the neurobiology of reward and addiction.
4) Describe and evaluate two or more biological theories of addiction


multiple choice and quizzes



  1. what are the key brain reward pathways in humans? p.2
  2. Olds & Milner said the brain sites that support ICSS are natural ____  ____? p3
  3. what’s the name of the key pathway supporting ICSS? 
  4. the nucleus accumbens is part of the what/ where is it? p4 
  5. what 4 pieces of evidence supports role of DA in ICSS?
  6. what were 2 paradigms measuring abuse potential using animals & how did they work? p5 
  7. what 5 pieces of evidence for role of DA in drug reward? 
  8. what are the acute effects of drug reward esp. Volkow? p6 
  9. what are the chronic effects of drug reward esp. Volkow? p7 
  10. what possible roles does DA play in reward?
  11. define physical dependance p8
  12. what is addiction and what is its main feature?
  13. describe negative reinforcement theory of addiction & main features 
  14. name 3 problems with negative reinforcement theory p9 
  15. Describe the features of positive reinforcement theories of addiction
  16. Can you describe Fred Toates’ theory around hot & cool representations & regions? p10 
  17. Describe incentive sensitization theory 
  18. what are 4 drawbacks of positive reinforcement ideas of addiction? p11
  19. describe response inhibition theory
  20. what is Goldstein & Volkow’s I-RISA response inhibition theory? p12
  21. can you name any points of evaluation of response inhibition theory? 
  22. what are some individual/ environmental factors in addiction? p13
  23. what 2 types of medication methods have been used for drug treatment? p14

find many answers to these questions in the notes here