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Exploratory Center for Interdisciplinary and Translational Research in Addiction (ExCITRA)

The Exploratory Center for Interdisciplinary and Translational Research in Addiction, or ExCITRA, investigates how different aspects of impulsivity (e.g. impulsive choice or impulsive responding) relate to cocaine addiction. Specifically, individuals with cocaine dependence participate in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) investigations using tasks of choice and response impulsivity to probe the underlying neural correlates as related to cocaine dependence. Participants are also imaged using positron emission tomography (PET) with a D3-preferring dopamine receptor agonist radiotracer, [11C] PHNO to investigate striatal dopamine function.

Through a clinical core, the same participants are evaluated on a broad range of clinical, neurocognitive, and laboratory measures including challenges to assess stimulant effects on choice and response impulsivity and cocaine self-administration. Together, the fMRI and PET projects investigate the relationships between neural and the clinical measures. Altogether, the data from these highly integrated, translational studies will contribute to our understanding of cocaine dependence and help develop more effective prevention and treatment strategies.

Yale Gambling CORE (Center of Research Excellence)

The Yale Gambling CORE (Center Of Research Excellence) builds upon existing collaborations and interdisciplinary work in which Dr. Marc Potenza and his research team are involved. The CORE investigates gambling from a dimensional (non-gambling, recreational gambling, problem gambling, pathological gambling) perspective and utilizes a multidisciplinary approach involving clinical, psychopharmacological, brain imaging, genetic, gender-based, longitudinal, developmental and epidemiological considerations and expertise.

The team has appointments in multiple Yale departments (Psychiatry, Child Study Center, Psychology, Epidemiology and Public Health and Diagnostic Radiology) and divisions (Divisions of Substance Abuse, Psychiatric Genetics, and Women’s Health Research) and involves leaders within important state (Connecticut’s Problem Gambling Services (PGS) and the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG)) and national treatment and prevention programs (National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)).

The research uses multiple techniques including brain imaging and molecular genetics to investigate factors associated with therapy development and outcome in pathological gambling treatment. The CORE provides a fortified structure for disseminating the findings through peer-reviewed publications, internet-based communications, clinical conferences, outreach and CME events, trainings, and other mechanisms.