Cue-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking is a hallmark behavioral pathology of addiction. Evidence suggests that reinstatement (e.g., relapse), may be regulated by cell signaling systems that underlie neuroplasticity. A variety of plasticity events require activation of calcium calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in components of the reward pathway, such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala.
Coping strategies have been associated with differential stress responsivity, perhaps providing a valuable neurobiological marker for susceptibility to the emergence of depressogenic symptoms or vulnerability to other anxiety-related disorders. Rats profiled with a flexible coping phenotype, for example, exhibit increased neurobiological markers of emotional regulation compared to active and passive copers (Bardi et al., 2012; Lambert et al., 2014).
The mammalian brain has evolved in close synchrony with the natural environment; consequently, trends toward disengagement from natural environments in today's industrialized societies may compromise adaptive neural responses and lead to psychiatric illness.