|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of neuroscience|
|Editors||Larry R. Squire|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
This article summarizes evidence that the psychomotor stimulant and addictive properties of nicotine are mediated by stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors located on or close to the dopamine (DA)-secreting neurons which innervate the nucleus accumbens. This stimulation increases DA overflow within the core and shell subdivisions of the accumbens. The shell is thought to mediate the reinforcing properties of the drug itself, whereas the core is thought to mediate the effects which conditioned stimuli contribute to nicotine-seeking behavior. The article also considers the putative role that the anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties of nicotine may play in the development of addiction.