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Tuesday, June 27, 2017- Large-Scale Brain Networks and Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are associated with an intricate network of brain regions, indicative of a complex underlying etiology, and neuroimaging tools that enable the monitoring of network function have therefore been particularly helpful in unraveling some of the essential neurobiology. Resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) allows researchers to examine the integrity of neural circuits in the absence of a task. rsFC techniques have offered unique insights into the spatiotemporal dynamics of multiple brain networks and into their role in normative function as well as in neuropsychiatric disorders. Within the context of SUDs, rsFC analysis already appears to be a promising technique for uncovering differences in neurocircuitry central to chronic substance use as well as relapse and recovery from SUDs (Fedota et al., 2015). Recently, the field has witnessed multiple attempts at probing SUD-related circuits from a large-scale network or whole-brain perspective that offer novel and promising insights into SUD neurobiology. With exciting new experimental and analytical techniques related to rsFC on the horizon, now is an opportune time to assess the success of rsFC analyses in SUD research thus far, and to consider possible directions for the future. The goal of the proposed panel is to highlight important insights gleaned from applying large-scale network approaches to understanding SUD-related neurocircuitry, with an emphasis on cutting-edge techniques in the field. The overall mission of the panel is to offer an alternative perspective to the study of SUDs that could speak to new targets for treatment development.