Functional magnetic resonance imaging of human brain activation during cue-induced cocaine craving

Am J Psychiatry. 1998 Jan;155(1):124-6. doi: 10.1176/ajp.155.1.124.


Objective: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to test whether brain activation was detectable in regions previously associated with cocaine cue-induced craving.

Method: Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional activation was measured during presentation of audiovisual stimuli containing alternating intervals of drug-related and neutral scenes to six male subjects with a history of crack cocaine use and six male comparison subjects.

Results: Significant activation was detected in the anterior cingulate and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in the cocaine-using group. In addition, a correlation between self-reported levels of craving and activation in these regions was found.

Conclusions: These results suggest that functional MRI may be a useful tool to study the neurobiological basis of cue-induced craving.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Ganglia / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiology
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Crack Cocaine*
  • Cues*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Crack Cocaine
  • Oxygen