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A Neuroeconomic Theory of Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity And Addiction

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: Neuronal mechanisms underlying addiction have been attracting attention in neurobiology, economics, neuropsychiatry, and neuroeconomics. This paper proposes a possible link between economic theory of addiction (Becker and Murphy, 1988) and neurobiological theory of bidirectional synaptic plasticity (Bienenstock, Cooper, Munro, 1982) based on recent findings in neuroeconomics and neurobiology of addiction. Furthermore, it is suggested that several neurobiological substrates such as cortisol (a stress hormone), NMDA and AMPA receptors subunits and intracellular calcium in the postsynaptic neurons are critical factors determining parameters in Becker and Murphy’s economic theory of addiction. Future directions in the application of the theory to studies in neuroeconomics and neuropsychiatry of addiction and its relation tostress at the molecular level are discussed.

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