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Genetics and Brain Imaging Together Shed Light on Smoking Cessation

fMRI Scan of Smoker’s Brain

fMRI Scan of Smoker's Brain

This fMRI scan of a smoker’s brain from three different angles highlights areas where the response to a monetary reward decreases, and response to a smoking reward increases, after the subject has refrained from smoking for 24 hours and is experiencing nicotine withdrawal. Decreased responsiveness to non-drug rewards may be a mechanism underlying vulnerability to continued smoking.

Credits: Maggie Sweitzer, University of Pittsburgh and Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition