We revisit our hypothesis that drug addiction can be viewed as the endpoint of a series of transitions from initial voluntarily drug use to habitual, and ultimately compulsive drug use. We especially focus on the transitions in striatal control over drug seeking behaviour that underlie these transitions since functional heterogeneity of the striatum was a key area of Ann Kelley's research interests and one in which she made enormous contributions. We also discuss the hypothesis in light of recent data that the emergence of a compulsive drug seeking habit both reflects a shift to dorsal striatal control over behaviour and impaired prefontal cortical inhibitory control mechanisms. We further discuss aspects of the vulnerability to compulsive drug use and in particular the impact of impulsivity. In writing this review we acknowledge the untimely death of an outstanding scientist and a dear personal friend.
Keywords: Cocaine; Dorsal striatum; Drug addiction; Prefrontal cortex; Ventral striatum.
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