Early Genetic & Environmental Factors Impacting the Reward & Motivation System

Dr. Pat Levitt, PhD

Brain Architecture, Addiction

June 2010

Dr. Pat Levitt (Keck School of Medicine, USC) provides an overview of how early genetic and environmental factors interact to produce long-term outcomes. He specifically discusses the interactive relationship of genes and experience on the development of brain architecture, while showing that the long-term impact is not only on emotional, social, and cognitive development, but also on the way in which reward and motivational systems are formed. This helps scientists understand why adverse childhood experiences can make a brain more vulnerable to addiction.

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