Page 143 - UCT Research Report 2011

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Ross. The RUBEN researchers are currently scanning the
brains of another group of addicts – pathological gamblers
– while these subjects try to control their emotional
responses to monetary prizes.
Last year, researchers in the BBI, in collaboration with
other institutions including Stellenbosch University and
the University of Cambridge, published 14 brain and
behaviour articles in peer-reviewed journals and a book,
Substance Use and Abuse in South Africa: Perspectives
from Brain Behaviour and Other Disciplines
, is forthcoming
through UCT Press in 2012.
With a commitment to keeping research current and relevant,
and driven by the need to develop local understanding and
local solutions to social issues, the BBI has a number of
projects under way, the data of which should go a long way
to inform prevention and intervention regarding substance
abuse and related social ills in the country.
Psychology and digging for
In order to define the points of intervention and prevention,
the complex network of interrelated causes and effects of
substance abuse and addiction needs to be fully understood.
Dr Kevin Thomas, of the UCT Department of Psychology,
says strong theoretical frameworks and unique tests
designed for accurate psychological measurements form
the department’s most important contributions to the BBI.
This image shows regions where brain tissue volume in 10-year-old children is significantly reduced with increasing
alcohol exposure. (Meintjes et al., Proc OHBM 2012, #6807.)
brain behaviour