Thus, urges do not occur in isolation, but are immediately incorporated into an existing homeostatic cognitive and affective system of the individual. For example, self-efficacy, ie, the confidence in being able to resist the urge,
can profoundly modulate drug use behavior.49 Moreover, temptation, ie, the contextual characteristics that are aimed to increase desire, leads to stronger urges to drink alcohol, greater difficulty controlling urges, and increased alcohol consumption, even Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical when controlling for alcohol consumption in the past month.50 Finally, social stress frequently occurs before, and may contribute to the degree of, cravings.51 Substance -using individuals who perceive an opportunity to consume their drug of choice report higher urges than those who do not anticipate being able to use the drug.52 It has been argued that the degree of urge modulates Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical the threshold for triggering an action.53 Therefore, craving and urges are important component processes of decision-making in the presence of ambivalence or conflict.54 Thus, similarly to the hedonic properties of a reward processing, the incentive motivational
aspects are an Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical emerging property based on the stimulus characteristics and the individuals homeostatic state. One way to study the neural substrates underlying urges is to selleck products examine frequently observed behaviors that are often attributed Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical to urge-related processing. Here, four examples of urge-related behaviors are reviewed that can shed new light on the neurobiology of these metacognitive states. First, in a functional positron emission tomography (PET) study to investigate the neural substrates underlying
itch and the motor intention of the urge to scratch, investigators found activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, supplementary motor area, premotor area, and inferior parietal lobule.55 Others have observed that increases in regional cerebral blood flow in orbitofrontal cortex, neostriatum, global pallidus, and thalamus were related to urges to perform compulsive movements.56 medroxyprogesterone A functional Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of intense itch and urge to scratch showed significant activity in the genual anterior cingulate, striatum, and thalamus as well as orbitofrontal, supplementary motor, posterior parietal areas, and bilateral insula.57 Second, air hunger, ie, the uncomfortable urge to breathe, is another urge-related phenomenon, which can be used to study the neural systems underlying urge and craving. Several neuroimaging studies have found activation of limbic and paralimbic regions during air hunger, which are often found to modulate homeostatic imbalance such as pain, thirst, and hunger for food. A recent fMRI study found that anterior cingulate, operculum, cerebellum, amygdala, thalamus, and basal ganglia were activated during air hunger.