Dr. Melissa Herman, Associate Professor at UNC Pharmacology, was invited to talk about vaping on Science VS. – a renowned science podcast discussing contentious issues using rigorous fact-checking, scientific literature analysis, and expert interviews. The expertise of the Herman lab lies in understanding how substance abuse alters the neuronal connections and leads to clinical conditions of abuse. Their work has shed light on the role of inhibitory networks, particularly focusing on the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), in the development of addiction and the subsequent behavioral consequences.
During the interview, Dr. Herman shared her scientific insights to demystify the complex interplay between neurobiology and addiction. “Smell a flower, you feel good about the flower, you encode the idea that that flower smelled good and that that was an enjoyable experience”, using the example of flower-smelling, she delved into how the brain’s reward system adapts, highlighting the disparity between nicotine and natural experiences. To hear more of Dr. Herman on the vaping myth, the full podcast can be found on Science VS.