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S20B07 This Is Us V: You Get What You Reward

Dates: April 13, 2020

Meets: M from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Location: JMU Ice House Room 104

Registration Fee: $10.00

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Please note: this course requires membership in Lifelong Learning Institute Membership 2019-2020

You Get What You Reward - How Addiction Takes Hold of Our Brains and Why it Won't Let Go

Our brains have intentionally and exquisitely evolved to not only seek out the things that make it feel good, but to change itself to want and need those things even more. We call this part of our brain the "reward system," and it is a two-edged sword that was meant to enhance our evolutionary survivability, but that can instead become our own worst enemy. Addiction is a state of the brain craving something that enhances the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine in the reward system. A person can be addicted to opioids, methamphetamine, gambling, sex, eating, shopping, and even social media. It is now clear that the tendency toward addiction has a substantial genetic component. We will learn about the brain?s reward/reinforcement system, how it interacts with the rest of our brain, why it can make us do things that sabotage our very survival, and how to best treat addiction to have the highest chance of success.

Anne Henriksen is Faculty Emerita at James Madison University, where she was a professor in the Integrated Science and Technology Department for 19 years. Dr. Henriksen came to JMU from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she was a staff scientist for ten years. She received a PhD in chemical physics from the University of Virginia and an MBA in management science from the University of New Mexico. She has spent the last nine years studying neuroscience, neuropharmacology, neuroendocrinology, genomics, and bioinformatics. Her personal interest is understanding the important role of sex steroid hormones in the brain during all stages of life.
Fee: $10.00
Hours:10.00

JMU Ice House Room 104

127 W Bruce St
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

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