Photo: Umit Bektas / Reuters
Scientists at the University of Warwick (UK) found out, what changes in the human brain provoke the tendency to Smoking and alcohol consumption. It turned out that changes in the connectivity of the orbitofrontal cortex — the indicator, which describes the structure of neural connections that contribute to the formation of bad habits. Article researchers published in the journal eLife.
The orbitofrontal cortex is called a section of the prefrontal cortex (the frontal lobes of the cerebral hemispheres), which takes part in decision-making and is located above the eye sockets (orbits). Neuroscientists have examined the neural mechanisms in this region that underlie the two major types of substance abuse — Smoking and alcoholism.
The researchers analyzed data from 831 volunteers participated in the Human Connectome Project, whose goal was a complete description of the anatomical and functional structure of neural connections in the human brain. The results were tested on a different dataset, obtained during examination of 1176 people.
It was found that smokers have low functional connectivity in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, associated with impulsive behavior. For people suffering from alcoholism, characterized by high functional connectivity of the medial orbitofrontal cortex related to reward system.
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