Published On: Mon, Jul 11th, 2016

Smoking can diminish the brain’s response to reward


Young adult smoking marijuana

A new research study has shared that smoking weed can diminish the brain’s reaction to incentive over time and put people much in danger of becoming addicted to the drug or other stuff.

The results illustrated that the reward system of the brain has been ‘hijacked’ by the drug and that the consumers require the remedy to feel incentives – or that their emotional reaction has been diminished.

Humans are born with a native force to connect in behaviors that feel gratifying and give happiness, but eventually, marijuana use was linked to a reduce reaction to a financial incentive.

Mary Heitzeg, Neuroscientist and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in the US stated that “This means that something that would be rewarding to most people was no longer rewarding to them,”

In addition, marijuana use was as well discovered to impact the emotional working of the brain.

The research paper which was cited in JAMA Psychiatry stated that Marijuana can source effects, involving issues with emotional working, academic issues, and even structural brain alterations.

In the beginning of life, someone uses marijuana, the quicker their evolution to becoming reliant on the drug, or other stuff.

Heitzeg further added that “Some people may believe that marijuana is not addictive or that it’s ‘better’ than other drugs that can cause dependence,” Heitzeg continued “but marijuana changes your brain in a way that may change your behavior, and where you get your sense of reward from. It affects the brain in a way that may make it more difficult to stop using it.”

Earlier research has illustrated that the brains of people who employ a high stimulating drug frequently react much powerfully when they’re illustrated signs pertaining to that drug.

The elevated reaction signifies that the drug has become linked in their brains with optimistic, satisfying feelings. And that can make it difficult to discontinue look for the drug and employing it, stated the researchers.

Meghan Martz, who is the lead researcher and doctoral student at the University of Michigan, stated that “If this is true with marijuana users, it may be that the brain can drive the use of the drug and that this use can also affect the brain,”

To conduct the research study, the team included 108 people in their early 20s — the main age for marijuana use. Everyone had brain scrutinizes at three points more than four years. Three-quarters were men, and almost the entire were white.

Whereas their brain was being scrutinized in a useful MRI scanner, they played a game that said them to tick a button when they witnessed a target on a monitor in front of them.

Prior to every round, they were said they can win 20 cents, or $5 — or those they can lose that quantity, have no incentive or failure.

The investigators concentrated on the nucleus accumbens — the incentive centers of the volunteers’ brains.

When an incentive is being predictable, the cells of the nucleus accumbens frequently dangle into act, removing dopamine — a ‘pleasure chemical.’

The larger the reaction, the more happiness or excitement a person feels and the much probable they will be to replicate the behavior afterward.

Though, the much the marijuana use, the lesser was the reaction located in nucleus accumbens above time.


About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.