WWU Professor of Psychology Jeff Grimm's research lab team recently published an article in the journal Scientific Reports. The study identified the expression level of DARPP32, a protein that mediates signalling in neurons that appears to be related to neuroplasticity, in 9 brain regions of rats that were responding for a cue previously associated with sugar availability. Some rats had also been exposed to environmental enrichment (housing with toys and friends), an experience the team had previously documented to reduce motivation to seek and consume sugar.
"We hope that our results better inform an understanding of how the brain changes with addiction behaviors, and perhaps facilitate treatment approaches for addictions including to food and drugs," said Grimm.
There are 5 undergraduate co-authors on this paper.
Link to the published article https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-29625-x