Why Did I Start? Why Can’t I Stop?: Brain Changes in Addiction
Professorial Lecture with Tim Parker
This talk will show that there are common misconceptions about what addiction is, why it occurs and how it should be regarded. It will also address how the brain responds to the feelings of intense pleasure that are activated by drugs or even the behaviours that we perform excessively. How do we explain the fact that withdrawal symptoms associated with CNS depressants like alcohol and opioids, including states of hyperactivation, restlessness, irritability and muscle cramps, are opposite to the effects of the drugs? More importantly, why does addiction typically lead to pronounced cognitive impairments?
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Mayer Family Hall, Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre, Augustana Campus
Refreshments will be provided. This event is free to attend and open to the public.
Tim Parker is currently completing his 34th year as a member of the Augustana faculty and his 17th year as a full professor of psychology. His area is biological psychology and he has written a textbook entitled Foundations of Biological Psychology which was published in 2013. His main areas of research include the neurobiology of addiction, learning, memory and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Parker has given several talks on the brain processes that occur during addiction. His audiences have included provincial court judges and Court of Queen’s Bench justices, as well as a variety of university audiences, including a Roundtable on Substance Abuse at Oxford University in England. As a result of this interest, he has now completed about three-quarters of a book on addiction and the brain processes that accompany it. The challenge is that this book is intended for a general audience, so it involves translating the neuroscience into a useful and engaging story.
Tim is married and has two children, a son who consults about websites and other approaches to PR, and a daughter who has a degree in kinesiology and is qualified as a paramedic. His hobbies include listening to music, reading and watching cricket.