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Vol. 29, No. 2 February 2005

Adolescence: Booze, Brains, and Behavior
Peter M. Monti, Robert Miranda, Jr., Kimberly Nixon, Kenneth J. Sher, H. Scott Swartzwelder, Susan F. Tapert, Aaron White, and Fulton T. Crews

This article represents the proceedings of a symposium at the 2004 Research Society on Alcoholismmeeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, organized and chaired by Peter M. Monti and Fulton T. Crews. The presentations and presenters were (1) Introduction, by Peter M. Monti; (2) Adolescent Binge Drinking Causes Life-Long Changes in Brain, by Fulton T. Crews and Kim Nixon; (3) Functional Neuroimaging Studies in Human Adolescent Drinkers, by Susan F. Tapert; (4) Abnormal EmotionalReactivity as a Risk Factor for Alcoholism, by Robert Miranda, Jr.; (5) Alcohol-Induced Memory Impairments, Including Blackouts, and the Changing Adolescent Brain, by Aaron M. White and H. Scott Swartzwelder; and (6) Discussion, by Kenneth Sher. Key Words: Alcohol, Adolescence, Behavior, Across Species.

LCOHOL MISUSE AND alcohol-related problems are prevalent among adolescents. In a recent survey,nearly one third of 12th graders reported getting drunk in the past month (Johnston et al., 2003) and 6% of high school students met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder (Rohde et al., 1996). Furthermore, despite high rates of alcohol use, adolescents tend to underestimate the risk involved with heavy drinking (Deas et al., 2000). Thus, it is curious that compared with adultdrinking, we know relatively little about adolescent drinking and its consequences (Monti et al., 2001). One consequence of alcohol use during adolescence that is of increasing concern is its effects on brain function and development. Although similar concerns exist for the effects of other drugs, including nicotine, for the most part, these are beyond the scope of the present article. Although studieshave examined adolescent alcohol misuse from psyVeterans Affairs Medical Center (PMM), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (PMM, RM), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; University of North Carolina (KN, FTC), Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Midwest Alcoholism Research Center (KJS), University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri; Duke UniversityMedical Center and Durham VA Medical Center (HSS, AW), Durham, North Carolina; and VA San Diego Healthcare System and University of California (SFT), San Diego, California Received for publication November 3, 2004; accepted December 6, 2004. This symposium and work presented were supported by a senior Research Career Scientist Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs and NIAAA 2R01 AA07850 (PMM);a grant from the Institute for Medical Research (AMW); a VA Senior Research Career Scientist award and NIAAA R01 AA12478 (HSS); an individual National Research Service Award, NIAAA AA05559, and NIDA R21 DA016904 (RM); and NIAAA Research Grants R37 AA07231, R01 AA013987 (KJS), AA06069 and AA011605 (FTC), and R01 AA13419 (SFT). Reprint requests: Peter M. Monti, PhD, Brown University, Box G-BH,Providence, RI 02912; Fax: 401-444-1888; e-mail: Copyright © 2005 by the Research Society on Alcoholism. DOI: 10.1097/01.ALC.0000153551.11000.F3
Alcohol Clin Exp Res, Vol 29, No 2, 2005: pp 207–220


chosocial and behavioral perspectives, relatively few investigations have targeted the acute and prolonged neurobiological impact of alcohol use during this developmentalperiod (Monti et al., 2001). Adolescence is a time of substantial neuromaturation that involves important changes in numerous brain regions, including the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and limbic system structures. Similarly, there are rapid changes in neurotransmission and plasticity. Such developmental changes can result in certain vulnerabilities for the adolescent brain (Dahl, 2004). It is...