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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Mental Health - Neurological Disorders - Neuroscience - Pharmacology - Respiratory Medicine

The Role of Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex in the Regulation of Craving by Reappraisal in Smokers
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Author: Li-Yan Zhao et al.

by Li-Yan Zhao, Jie Tian, Wei Wang, Wei Qin, Jie Shi, Qiang Li, Kai Yuan, Ming-Hao Dong, Wei-Chuang Yang, Ya-Rong Wang, Li-Li Sun, Lin Lu

Rationale and Objective

Drug cues can induce craving for drugs of abuse. Dysfunctional regulation of emotion and motivation regarding rewarding objects appears to be an integral part of addiction. It has been found that cognitive strategies decreased the intensity of craving in addicts. Reappraisal strategy is a type of cognitive strategy that requires participants to reinterpret the meaning of an emotional situation. In addition, studies have found that activation of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is associated with the selection and application of cognitive reappraisal. In present study, we sought to determine whether such cognitive regulation engages the dACC and improves inhibition of craving in smokers.

Methods

Sixteen smokers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of a cigarette reward-conditioning procedure with cognitive reappraisal. We focused our analyses on the dACC as a key structure of cognitive control of craving. Cue induced craving under different conditions was obtained. Correlational analysis between the functional response in the dACC and the subjective craving was performed.

Results

We found that using a cognitive reappraisal was successful in decreasing the conditioned craving. Right dACC (BA 24/32) engaged in the cognitive reappraisal. In addition, the individual’s subjective craving was negatively correlated with the right dACC activation.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that the dACC are important substrates of Inhibition of cue induced craving in smokers. Cognitive regulation by cognitive reappraisal may help addicted individuals avoid the anticipated situations where they are exposed to conditioned cues.

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