To further the investigation of the neurobiology of drug addiction, researchers have integrated chronic extracellular recording and intravenous drug self-administration procedures. The technique allows researchers to characterize the discharge patterns of single neurons during drug-directed instrumental behavior. This method is the topic of the present chapter. The first sections of the chapter overview the method and discuss the rationale, advantages, and disadvantages of the technique. These sections also describe some of the experimental approaches that are required for certain applications of the recording procedure (see Sections 2.2-2.4). The remainder of the chapter will review three areas of research, as follows: (1) firing patterns of NAc neurons during drug-directed behavior (Sections 2.5-2.6); (2) acute effects of cocaine on NAc activity (Section 2.7); and (3) effects of repeated cocaine selfadministration on NAc firing (Section 2.8). The research exemplifies some of the experimental methods discussed in earlier parts of the chapter, as well as some of the novel research opportunities that are afforded by the technique. The chapter also includes a discussion of future directions. A detailed description of technical aspects of the method is provided in an appendix.
|Title of host publication||Advances in the Neuroscience of Addiction|
|Number of pages||66|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2010|