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TU Berlin

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DFG-Forschergruppe zum Thema "Learning & Decision Making as Predictors of the Development & Maintenance of Alcoholism"

Abstract (engl.)

Alcohol dependence is characterised by failures of choice. People drink despite severe negative consequences; other pleasures are hardly rewarding to them. A crucial unanswered question is the genesis of such choice anomalies. For instance, both insensitivity to negative consequences and inability to respond to rewards unrelated to drugs could give rise to maladaptive behaviors. The question we wish to address in this work is the role learning mechanisms per se play in the aetiology of alcohol addiction. Our approach will rest on computational characterisations of learning mechanisms that have been highly successful in teasing apart separate neurobiological contributions by structures thought to be involved in the development and maintenance of addiction.

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