Striatal and habenular activity differentially linked with state and trait-like aspects of nicotine addiction

Flannery JS, Riedel MC, Laird AR, Ross TJ, Salmeron BJ, Stein EA, Sutherland MT, SANS Annual Meeting (2019).


The habenula (Hb) is a small epithalamic nucleus that modulates monoamine neurotransmission, possesses a high density of nAChRs, and is linked with the aversive effects of high nicotine doses & nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Preclinical evidence implicates the Hb as a contributor to negative reinforcement mechanisms perpetuating smoking. Although the Hb’s small size leads to difficulty assessing its function in humans, we utilized a feedback task previously shown to differentially activate the Hb, striatum, ACC, & insula.