Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #489
CE Offered: BACB
Reward, Interrupted: Inhibitory Control and Its Relevance to Addictions
Monday, May 27, 2024
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 108 AB
Area: BPN; Domain: Theory
Chair: Eric A. Thrailkill (University of Vermont)
CE Instructor: Eric A. Thrailkill, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: DAVID JENTSCH (Binghamton University)

A great deal is known about the behavioral and neural mechanisms that give rise to goal-directed reward-seeking actions. By contrast, we know much less about the processes that enable goal-directed behavioral constraint. In this talk, I will address the importance of inhibitory control to various forms of reward-guided behaviors, particularly drug and alcohol misuse and addictions. I will highlight discoveries that have revealed genetic, molecular and neural processes vital to effective inhibitory control, and I will address the importance of studying diverse populations in these efforts.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Professionals and scientists conducting research on or providing services for behavioral addictions.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, attendees will be able to: (1) define and operationalize inhibitory control; (2) describe the ways in which individual differences in inhibitory control relate to addictions; (3) explain molecular and neural circuitry mechanisms important to inhibitory control and (4) describe how interventions affecting inhibitory control abilities could play a role in managing the loss of control in drug and alcohol addictions.
DAVID JENTSCH (Binghamton University)
J. David Jentsch received his BA degree in Behavioral Biology from The Johns Hopkins University, and his PhD in Neurobiology from the Yale University School of Medicine. In 2001, he joined the faculty in the Department of Psychology at UCLA, where he spent the next 15 years, rising to the rank of Full Professor. During this time, he served as the Associate Director for Research of the UCLA Brain Research Institute, one of the oldest and largest academic research institutes focused on the study of the nervous system. In 2015, Dr. Jentsch moved to Binghamton University, joining the Behavioral Neuroscience area of the Department of Psychology, where he is currently a SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology. Dr. Jentsch has focused most of his independent research on the neuroscience of addictions. He has published more than 125 articles and chapters and has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2005. He and his work has been recognized with numerous awards including the Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award from CPDD and the Waletzky Prize for Innovative Research on Drug and Alcohol Abuse from the Society for Neuroscience. In 2009, animal rights extremists launched a campaign against Dr. Jentsch and his research. In reaction to the fire-bombing of his car and other threatening and violent actions taken against him and his colleagues, he founded a group called UCLA Pro-test to defend researchers under attack and to engage in visible public advocacy for humane animal research. These efforts were recognized by the 2011 Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



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