Drugs of abuse: Identifying the addiction circuit

mouse brain

Section of a mouse brain showing in red the circuit that reinforces the behaviour, in green the circuit that reinforces the decision to continue. If the green projection is very active, the mice self-stimulate their red projection despite negative consequences. Read more…


Dopamine, a key component of heroin addiction

Lüscher_nov2018.jpeg

Photo illustrating dopaminergic neurons (in red). In green, are dopaminergic neurons that have been activated by heroin. In blue, a marking of the nuclei of the cells. © UNIGE Addiction refers to the repeated and irrepressible desire to do or Read more…


Body ownership is not impaired in schizophrenia

Body Ownership

Schizophrenia patients often experience an altered sense of self, for example, as if someone else is controlling their actions. This impairment is described as a deficit in the “sense of agency”, and while it has been well established and linked Read more…


iTango: A switch to illuminate the neurons

ligthing neuron

The blue light activates the iTango system. Mouse implanted with an optical fiber that directs light to the parts of the brain involved in the addictive behavior. Swiss and American researchers are developing a technique of unprecedented precision to visualize Read more…


2016 Koetser Award to Christian Lüscher

Christian Lüscher Koetser prize 2016

The Betty and David Koetser Foundation for research on the brain rewards this year Christian Lüscher, Professor at the Department of fundamental neurosciences of the Faculty of Medicine at UNIGE (his group web page). Professor Lüscher, a specialist of neural Read more…


Adapting optogenetics to reverse cocaine behavior

optogenetics

Borrowing ideas from optogenetics, which uses light to control neurons, Christian Lüscher and colleagues have developed a combination therapy to treat cocaine-induced behaviors in mice. Recent research has shown that it may be possible to use optogenetics to reverse cocaine-related Read more…


Cocaine tampers with the brain’s brakes

cocaine leaves

New results from Christian Lüscher and his group show that cocaine not only acts on excitatory transmission but also affects inhibitory transmission provoking loss of an intrinsic brake in the brain. Cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens and the Read more…