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author:("Ray, sushmita")
1.  Cocaine, Appetitive Memory and Neural Connectivity 
Journal of clinical toxicology  2012;2012(Suppl 7):003-.
This review examines existing cognitive experimental and brain imaging research related to cocaine addiction. In section 1, previous studies that have examined cognitive processes, such as implicit and explicit memory processes in cocaine users are reported. Next, in section 2, brain imaging studies are reported that have used chronic users of cocaine as study participants. In section 3, several conclusions are drawn. They are: (a) in cognitive experimental literature, no study has examined both implicit and explicit memory processes involving cocaine related visual information in the same cocaine user, (b) neural mechanisms underlying implicit and explicit memory processes for cocaine-related visual cues have not been directly investigated in cocaine users in the imaging literature, and (c) none of the previous imaging studies has examined connectivity between the memory system and craving system in the brain of chronic users of cocaine. Finally, future directions in the field of cocaine addiction are suggested.
PMCID: PMC4084565
Appetitive memory; Neural connectivity; Cocaine addiction
2.  fMRI BOLD Response in High-risk College Students (Part 1): During Exposure to Alcohol, Marijuana, Polydrug and Emotional Picture Cues† 
Aim: This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study examined reactivity to alcohol, polydrug, marijuana and emotional picture cues in students who were referred to a college alcohol and drug assistance program. Methods: The fMRI data of 10 participants (5 females; 5 males) were collected while they viewed standardized emotional and appetitive cues. Results: Positive and negative emotional cues produced greater activity than neutral cues in the expected brain areas. Compared with neutral cues, alcohol cues produced greater brain activation in the right insula, left anterior cingulate, left caudate and left prefrontal cortex (Z = 2.01, 1.86, 1.82, 1.81, respectively; P < 0.05). Drug cues produced significantly greater left prefrontal activity compared with neutral cues, with polydrug cues activating the right insula and marijuana cues activating left anterior cingulate. Conclusions: Students at-risk for alcohol abuse showed neural reactivity to alcohol cues in four brain regions, which is consistent with their greater use of alcohol. Insula activation to appetitive cues may be an early marker of risk for progression to alcohol/drug abuse.
PMCID: PMC2930251  PMID: 20729530
3.  fMRI BOLD Response of High-risk College Students (Part 2): During Memory Priming of Alcohol, Marijuana and Polydrug Picture Cues 
Aims: This study examined brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and reaction time (RT) during an implicit repetition priming memory task involving alcohol, polydrug, marijuana and emotional picture cues. Methods: Participants were 5 male and 5 female high-risk college students who had just participated in a cue exposure study (Ray et al., this issue). fMRI and RT data were collected while participants made decisions about previously seen and new picture cues. Results: Both behavioral RT and brain imaging data revealed strong memory priming for drug and alcohol cues. Neurologically, a repetition priming effect (suppression in neural activity for repeated cues) was observed in response to alcohol cues in the left prefrontal, bilateral occipital, and bilateral occipitotemporal regions, as well as right insula and right precuneus (Z ranged from 3.03 to 3.31 P < 0.05). Polydrug cues elicited priming in the occipital and temporal areas, and marijuana cues in the occipital area. Conclusions: Prefrontal and insular cortex involvement both in reactivity to alcohol cues (Ray et al., this issue) and subsequent implicit memory processing of these cues, as found in this study, suggests their potential role in the maintenance of high-risk alcohol use behaviors.
PMCID: PMC2930252  PMID: 20729527
4.  Heart Rate Variability Response to Alcohol, Placebo, and Emotional Picture Cue Challenges: Effects of 0.1 Hz Stimulation 
Psychophysiology  2008;45(5):847-858.
Heart rate variability (HRV) supports emotion regulation and is reduced by alcohol. Based on the resonance properties of the cardiovascular system, a new 0.1-Hz methodology was developed to present emotional stimuli and assess HRV reaction in participants (N=36) randomly assigned to an alcohol, placebo, or control condition. Blocked picture cues (negative, positive, neutral) were presented at a rate of 5 s on, 5 s off (i.e., 0.1-Hz frequency). SDNN, pNN50, and HF HRV were reduced by alcohol, compared to the placebo and control. The 0.1-Hz HRV index was diminished by alcohol and placebo, suggesting that autonomic regulation can be affected by cognitive expectancy. The 0.1-Hz HRV index and pNN50 detected changes in arousal during emotional compared to neutral cues, and the 0.1-Hz HRV index was most sensitive to negative valence. The 0.1-Hz HRV methodology may be useful for studying the intersection of cognition, emotion, and autonomic regulation.
PMCID: PMC2964051  PMID: 18513359
5.  Gender Differences in Acute Alcohol Effects on Self-Regulation of Arousal in Response to Emotional and Alcohol-Related Picture Cues 
Basic mechanisms through which men and women self-regulate arousal have received little attention in human experimental addiction research although stress-response-dampening and craving theories suggest an important role of emotional arousal in motivating alcohol use. This study examined gender differences in the effects of acute alcohol intoxication on psychophysiological and self-reported arousal in response to emotionally negative, positive, and neutral, and alcohol-related, picture cues. Thirty-six social drinkers (16 women) were randomly assigned to an alcohol, placebo, or control beverage group, and exposed to picture cues every 10 s (0.1 Hz presentation frequency). Psychophysiological arousal was assessed via a 0.1-Hz heart rate variability (HRV) index. A statistically significant beverage group-by-gender interaction effect on psychophysiological, but not self-reported, arousal was found. 0.1-Hz HRV responses to picture cues were suppressed by alcohol only in men. This gender-specific suppression pattern did not differ significantly across picture cue types. There were no significant gender differences in the placebo or control group. Greater dampening of arousal by alcohol intoxication in men, compared to women, may contribute to men's greater tendency to use alcohol to cope with stress.
PMCID: PMC2964059  PMID: 19586136
Gender; Emotion regulation; Heart Rate Variability (HRV); Alcohol Use; Stress

Results 1-5 (5)