Pathways of addiction

You can't talk about addiction without talking about neurobiology. Good feelings, bad feelings, are all in the end a combination of electrical and chemical signals in your brain. Addiction is the reprogramming of neurons responsible for these feelings. At first amplifying, then dulling, perceived pleasures to make you crave more of a particular stimuli.


When we think of addiction, nicotine comes to mind. Starting with smoke, nicotine enters our lungs, travels through our bloodstream, and up to our brains where they interact directly with receptors on the surface of neurons found in specific brain centers. This binding leads to a cascade of activity within the neurons themselves and a flurry of electrical signals.

A permanent change

Perhaps the biggest problem with addictive substances is the permanence of their effects. Sometimes, the neurological changes or damages are reversible given enough time, but for the most part, we see permanent changes in the connectivity, sensitivity, and physiological of the the affected neuronal cells.

Concept art and storyboards - Geoffrey L Cheung

Media - Adobe Photoshop

Agency - Anatomical Travelogue, The Visual MD

Collaborators - Project management: Laura Gibson, Erin Daniel.