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What Is Addiction?$
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Don Ross, Harold Kincaid, David Spurrett, and Peter Collins

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262513111

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262513111.001.0001

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Addiction as a Breakdown in the Machinery of Decision Making

Addiction as a Breakdown in the Machinery of Decision Making

Chapter:
(p.99) 4 Addiction as a Breakdown in the Machinery of Decision Making
Source:
What Is Addiction?
Author(s):

A. David Redish

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262513111.003.0005

This chapter, which is concerned with the neurophysiology of decision making in mammals, reviews a set of identifiable failure points within the system. It argues that addiction should be considered in the light of vulnerabilities in the machinery of the decision-making system, and suggests that the key to addiction is an interaction between the pharmacological effects of certain drugs and the physical machinery underlying the decision-making system. The proposed vulnerabilities theory indicates that the continued pursuit of drugs or problematic behaviors may be due to many potential decision-making failures.

Keywords:   decision making, mammals, neurophysiology, decision-making system, addiction, physical machinery, vulnerabilities theory, drugs

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