Neural Systems and Cue-Induced Cocaine Craving

Katherine R. Bonson, Steven J. Grant, Carlo S. Contoreggi, Jonathan M. Links, Janet Metcalfe, H. Lloyd Weyl, Varughese Kurian, Monique Ernst, Edythe D. London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

396 Scopus citations


We have extended our previous work investigating the neural correlates of cue-induced cocaine craving through the use of positron emission tomography with greater spatial resolution (<4.6 mm), an evocative script, and a pixel-by-pixel analysis. Craving and cerebral glucose metabolism were measured after presentation of cocaine-related or neutral cues to 11 cocaine abusers. Cocaine cues elicited a higher degree of craving than has been previously reported and resulted in left hemispheric activation of lateral amygdala, lateral orbitofrontal cortex, and rhinal cortex and right hemispheric activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and cerebellum. The intensity of activation in these areas (except cerebellum), as well as left insula, was also correlated with craving. Deactivation occurred in left ventral pole and left medial prefrontal cortex. The results suggest that induction of drug craving involves a neural network that assigns incentive motivational value to environmental stimuli through the coactivation of brain regions that process information about memories and emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-386
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Brain imaging
  • Cerebral glucose metabolism
  • Cocaine
  • Cognitive
  • Craving
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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