Media Advisory

Monday, November 10, 2008

NIDA's Frontiers in Addiction Research

Meeting Explores Willpower, New Technologies in Imaging, and Brain Development

What: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, will convene a one-day mini-convention at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. NIDA scientists will present recent findings and discuss future directions in neuroscience. Concepts to be discussed include: how the environment can alter gene function (epigenetics) in addiction and brain development; what determines free will or ‘free won’t’; and how ground-breaking imaging technologies can reveal gene activation in the living brain, and/or control neurons and behavior.

Why: To bring together scientists to explore the latest research on addiction neuroscience.

When: Friday, November 14, 2008
8:00 a.m. – 6:10 p.m.

Where: Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
Renaissance Washington DC Hotel
Grand Ballroom North and Central
999 Ninth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

More Information: For more information on the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, please visit To arrange an interview with NIDA staff, please contact NIDA press officers Dorie Hightower or Stephanie Older at 301-443-6245 or e-mail your request to

Event Highlights:

  • Willpower: What Really Governs Our Choices? — new perspectives on the controversial topic of how our brain responds to competing incentives in the environment to determine our ultimate course of action—or inaction.
  • Epigenetics and Brain Function — a description of epigenetic mechanisms mediating maternal effects on the brain and behavior, regulation of learning and relapse to drug seeking, and mechanisms of cocaine addiction. 
  • Multimodal Imaging of Neuropathways — applications of groundbreaking technology  for optical remote control and real-time tracking of neurons and circuits, including the detection of gene activation and new-born neurons in the living brain.   
  • Cortical Development and Substance Abuse — an exploration of environmental influences on early cortical development, and the implications for addiction.
  • Drug Abuse and Neuroscience Research Poster Session — an opportunity for early career investigators to discuss their research findings and interests with NIDA staff, training directors, and other drug abuse researchers.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice.  Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s new DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or email requests to 240-645-0227 or

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®