The lab’s research is centered around the general goal of determining the neurobiological mechanisms of executive function irregularities associated with addiction. Our experiments fall into three interconnected domains:
Reinforcement-based association learning
Breaking old habits is the essence of recovery from addiction. To help understand how we form and break habits, we study how the brain enables us to learn and replace stimulus-response associations.
Selection bias for immediate rewards
Addiction is associated with a tendency to choose immediate rewards (“Now”) over larger delayed rewards (“Later”). This work focuses on determining the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the tendency to choose Now over Later.
Abnormal attention to addiction-related information
Addiction is also associated with enhanced attention toward addiction -related information. We are characterizing the nature of attention abnormalities associated with addiction, and determining the underlying neural bases of these abnormalities.
In addition, we are interested in dissociating pre-existing risk factors from cognitive consequences of addiction, and in identifying the brain mechanisms of addiction treatment effects.
- Selected as a 2015 National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow. More information about the program can be found here: http://www.nasonline.org/programs/kavli-frontiers-of-science/about.html and here: http://www.kavlifoundation.org/kavli-frontiers-science
- Elected as a member of the UNC Faculty Assembly 2015, and was also appointed to the Society for Neuroscience Government & Public Affairs Committee, each for 3 year terms.
- Boettiger Joins CAS Faculty (Vol 19, No 3)
Elton A, Garbutt JC, Boettiger CA. Risk and resilience for alcohol use disorder revealed in brain functional connectivity. Neuroimage Clin. 2021;32:102801. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102801. Epub 2021 Aug 24. PubMed PMID: 34482279; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8416942.
Dannenhoffer CA, Robertson MM, Macht VA, Mooney SM, Boettiger CA, Robinson DL. Chronic alcohol exposure during critical developmental periods differentially impacts persistence of deficits in cognitive flexibility and related circuitry. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2021;160:117-173. doi: 10.1016/bs.irn.2021.07.004. Epub 2021 Aug 11. PubMed PMID: 34696872; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8674885.
Elton A, Faulkner ML, Robinson DL, Boettiger CA. Acute depletion of dopamine precursors in the human brain: effects on functional connectivity and alcohol attentional bias. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 Jul;46(8):1421-1431. doi: 10.1038/s41386-021-00993-9. Epub 2021 Mar 16. PubMed PMID: 33727642; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8209208.
McKim TH, Dove SJ, Robinson DL, Fröhlich F, Boettiger CA. Addiction history moderates the effect of prefrontal 10-Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation on habitual action selection. J Neurophysiol. 2021 Mar 1;125(3):768-780. doi: 10.1152/jn.00180.2020. Epub 2020 Dec 23. PubMed PMID: 33356905; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7988748.
Robertson MM, Furlong S, Voytek B, Donoghue T, Boettiger CA, Sheridan MA. EEG power spectral slope differs by ADHD status and stimulant medication exposure in early childhood. J Neurophysiol. 2019 Dec 1;122(6):2427-2437. doi: 10.1152/jn.00388.2019. Epub 2019 Oct 16. PubMed PMID: 31619109; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6966317.