Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 238–248 | Cite as

Neurobiological Considerations for Tobacco Use Disorder

  • Megha Chawla
  • Kathleen A. GarrisonEmail author
Addictions (M Potenza and M Brand, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Addictions


Purpose of Review

Neurobiological studies of tobacco/nicotine use examining genetic, molecular, functional, and behavioral correlates have improved our understanding of tobacco/nicotine dependence and have informed treatment. Recent work extending previously established findings and reporting novel methodologies and discoveries in preclinical and human studies are reviewed.

Recent Findings

Recent work in preclinical models has focused on the differential roles of nicotinic receptor subtypes and nicotine’s effects on neural systems beyond cortico-striatal dopaminergic pathways, and utilizing advanced methodologies such as pharmacogenetics, optogenetics, and rodent fMRI to identify targets for treatment. Likewise, human neuroimaging studies have identified molecular and functional dynamic shifts associated with tobacco/nicotine use that further inform treatment.


Tobacco/nicotine use is associated with widespread neural adaptations that are persistent and function to maintain addiction. The continued identification of genetic, molecular, neural, and behavioral endophenotypes related to tobacco/nicotine use, dependence, and addiction will facilitate the development and delivery of personalized treatment.


Neurobiology Neuroscience Tobacco Nicotine Addiction Smoking 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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