Elliot Alan Stein, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Neuroimaging Research Branch

NIDA

251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21224

443-740-2650

estein@mail.nih.gov

Research Topics

Our research is directed at understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying human drug use and addiction. Using a number of MRI based (e.g. fMRI, MR spectroscopy, functional connectivity, DTI) and PET (dopamine, serotonin systems) imaging techniques in both human and animal models, we aim to understand how both acute and chronic drug administration alters neuronal and cognitive processing and subsequent behavioral outcome. Our human imaging research, centered mostly on cocaine and nicotine dependence, emphasizes the importance of cognitive, affective, personality and environmental interactions with the drug’s pharmacological properties. More recent studies are examining these properties in marijuana, ecstasy and methamphetamine users. Drug using individuals and healthy matched control subjects are employed to test specific hypotheses related to such cognitive constructs as attention, reward processing, craving, affect, decision making and response inhibition. The consequences of chronic drug use on systems level neuroplasticity are examined longitudinally during drug withdrawal and treatment regimens. Together with our collaborators, we have begun to examine how specific individual genetic polymorphisms help explain the group variance imaging endophenotypes to better understand trait related predisposition and hopefully, treatment outcome. Finally, rodent and non-human primate imaging models are employed to address the biophysical bases of the fMRI signal and, using chronic drug use models unavailable in human research, better understand where and how various neuropharmacological manipulations alter local and circuit level neuronal functions. The long-term goal of this research is to develop more efficacious strategies to both treat existing and help prevent future drug use in high risk populations.

Selected Publications

  1. Lu H, Zou Q, Gu H, Raichle ME, Stein EA, Yang Y. Rat brains also have a default mode network. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109(10):3979-84.

  2. Lerman C, Gu H, Loughead J, Ruparel K, Yang Y, Stein EA. Large-scale brain network coupling predicts acute nicotine abstinence effects on craving and cognitive function. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(5):523-30.

  3. Hong LE, Hodgkinson CA, Yang Y, Sampath H, Ross TJ, Buchholz B, Salmeron BJ, Srivastava V, Thaker GK, Goldman D, Stein EA. A genetically modulated, intrinsic cingulate circuit supports human nicotine addiction. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107(30):13509-14.

  4. Geng X, Hu Y, Gu H, Salmeron BJ, Adinoff B, Stein EA, Yang Y. Salience and default mode network dysregulation in chronic cocaine users predict treatment outcome. Brain. 2017.

  5. Hu Y, Salmeron BJ, Gu H, Stein EA, Yang Y. Impaired functional connectivity within and between frontostriatal circuits and its association with compulsive drug use and trait impulsivity in cocaine addiction. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(6):584-92.

Related Scientific Focus Areas


This page was last updated on August 15th, 2017