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Through innovative research, the Besheer Lab has identified a novel brain circuit that regulates alcohol drinking. This lab studied the role of the frontal cortex, including the insular cortex, in alcohol use by monitoring rats’ ingestion of alcohol. They found that blocking projections from the insular cortex to the nucleus accumbens, a key brain area for motivation, reduced alcohol self administration. This study has led to current research on the manipulation of these circuits to prevent alcohol relapse.