Scientists at the University of Michigan, along with Florida International University’s (FIU) Center for Children and Families, found previously unreported behavioral effects marijuana has on users.
“We were interested in seeing whether the reward centers of the brain [are impacted by] marijuana use,” said Elisa Trucco, co-author and assistant professor at FIU. “What we found was that it led to dampening, suggesting more [continuous] use leads to an individual having less response to natural rewards.”
The study recruited 108 participants in their early 20s for a four-year experiment. Three-quarters were men, and the majority were white. During two-year intervals, their brains were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
During the scans, they played a game that asked them to hit a button every time an on-screen target appeared. Before each session, they were told they had a chance of winning $0, 20 cents, $5, or lose it all.
Compared to the brains of non-marijuana users…(continue reading),