How do genetics, economics and psychology come together to help us understand addictions? How do impulsivity and decision-making form and how do they affect substance use? What can brain imaging tell us about where addiction?
Hosted by Lianne Laing, media personality, podcaster, and health and wellness advocate.
Dr. James MacKillop of McMaster University will share his research on addiction, which seeks to understand the causes of addiction and to understand why some people fare well in treatment, while others continue to struggle. His approach brings together many scientific perspectives, including clinical psychology, microeconomics, cognitive neuroscience, and molecular genetics. In integrating these perspectives, Dr. MacKillop has become an international leader in applying behavioural economics and neuroeconomics to understanding addiction.
Dr. MacKillop studies the many factors combine to lead to addiction including genetic vulnerabilities, early life stress and adversity, a person’s social network, and concurrent mental health problems. He examines how diverse influences are linked through effects on self-regulation, emotional regulation and reward valuation. This is where behavioural economics comes in – the formal study of the factors that govern the choices people make and the values they put on goods or outcomes.
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