Clinical Neuroscience of Addiction: Applications to Psychological Science and Practice


  • Lara A. Ray

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles
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Address correspondence to Lara A. Ray, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1285 Franz Hall, Box 951563, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563. E-mail:


Addiction is a chronic and relapsing psychiatric disorder affecting a large number of patients worldwide. Ample evidence from basic and clinical neuroscience has demonstrated that addiction is a brain disease marked by compulsive substance use despite a host of negative consequences. Although extensive preclinical research has elucidated some of the key neurobiological underpinnings of addiction, these findings have yet to be translated into clinical practice. This article provides a review of addiction neurobiology while applying these insights to the understanding of the clinical phenomenology and treatment of this disorder. Recent progress in the fields of psychology and psychiatry suggests that clinical neuroscience will become increasingly important in clinical psychology science and practice. This review provides a framework for integrating neuroscience and clinical psychology while considering its limitations and opportunities.