The School of Psychology proudly presents:
The Psychonomic Seminar Series 2007
"Better science through chemistry"
This Friday, at 3pm in room 304, we are privileged to be presenting Dr. Rob Hester who will talk about: "Executive dysfunction in drug dependence: a contributing factor to continuing abuse?"
Dependent drug use is the single largest contributor to disease burden affecting Australians. Despite an increasing understanding of the health problems associated with chronic drug use, relatively little research has examined the contribution of executive control dysfunction to prolonging abuse. Current research indicates that executive control processes are fundamental for the ability to inhibit the immediate pursuit of pleasurable stimuli, and for the development of adaptive patterns of behaviour -- both key factors in drug dependence. Chronic drug use, across a range of drug types, also appears to alter brain structures and activity associated with executive control. I will present our recent research examining: (1) the influence of chronic psychostimulant (cocaine, ethamphetamine) use on executive control processes and their underlying neural network (using fMRI); (2) the relationship between neural and behavioural measures of executive dysfunction and risk of relapse during attempts to abstain.
When taking psychostimulants Rob has been known known to run down crowded city streets sans clothing while covered in raspberry jelly and chanting I am not the messiah, I'm just a very naughty boy. In the absence of psychostimulants Rob has a settled disposition and has developed a world wide reputation for his research concerning the effects of drug dependence on the brain and on behaviour, and for his work on working memory and the control of attention. To find out in which state he will give his talk, you will have to turn up on Friday.