The impact of orbitofrontal dysfunction on cocaine addiction

Federica Lucantonio, Thomas A. Stalnaker, Yavin Shaham, Yael Niv, Geoffrey Schoenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

123 Scopus citations


Cocaine addiction is characterized by poor judgment and maladaptive decision-making. Here we review evidence implicating the orbitofrontal cortex in such behavior. This evidence suggests that cocaine-induced changes in orbitofrontal cortex disrupt the representation of states and transition functions that form the basis of flexible and adaptive 'model-based' behavioral control. By impairing this function, cocaine exposure leads to an overemphasis on less flexible, maladaptive 'model-free' control systems. We propose that such an effect accounts for the complex pattern of maladaptive behaviors associated with cocaine addiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-366
Number of pages9
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Lucantonio, F., Stalnaker, T. A., Shaham, Y., Niv, Y., & Schoenbaum, G. (2012). The impact of orbitofrontal dysfunction on cocaine addiction. Nature neuroscience, 15(3), 358-366.