HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Boston, Massachusetts, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

4th Edition of Global Conference on

Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry

October 19-21, 2023 | Boston, Massachusetts, USA

GAB 2021

Denis Larrivee

Speaker at Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry 2021 - Denis Larrivee
Loyola University Chicago, United States
Title : Addiction and Impairment in Self Control Relating Etiology to the Neural Representation of the Agent


Addiction has often been described as a disease of impaired self control, where the patient is incapable of resisting addictive substances. While neural mechanisms for self regulation are largely unknown, several psychiatric or degenerative diseases have been linked to impairments of the phenomenal construct of the self, generally regarded as the source of decision making capacity. Accordingly, study of these impairments could yield insight into how self regulation is altered in addiction. Schizophrenia, for example, is marked by disturbances of the self construct, seen in such symptoms as an abnormal sense of the body, loss of ego boundary and a confused sense of agency. Likewise, Alzheimer's Dementia manifests as a progressive loss of control of default mode, self circuitries that modulate task positive and task negative activity. Schizophrenia, notably, has been shown to negatively affect motor planning and execution, influences that have been linked to defects in goal pursuit and self agency. Theories of the motor plan invoke a predictive processing model in which the identification of expected actions are confirmed through their sensory identification, a process that could serve to identify the source of actions. However, goal specific information does not appear to be contained in action identification processes of the motor plan, since schizophrenia patients have been shown to be capable of identifying their actions in automatic behaviors, whereas they are impaired in the intentional performance of motor tasks. Hence, action selection processes appear to involve neural mechanisms other than those of action identification. Among these, representations of body posture are likely to be important proxies for global self-representation during dynamic action, one that could be influenced or directly modified by goal specific content. This talk will explore several mechanisms that may structure these representations and how they may be modified in cognitive diseases like schizophrenia and in addiction.


Dr. Denis Larrivee is a Visiting Scholar at the Mind and Brain Institute, University of Navarra Medical School and Loyola University Chicago and has held professorships at the Weill Cornell University Medical College, NYC, and Purdue University, Indiana. A former fellow at Yale University's Medical School he received the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology's first place award for studies on photoreceptor degenerative and developmental mechanisms. He is the editor of a recently released text on Brain Computer Interfacing with InTech Publishing and an editorial board member of the journals Annals of Neurology and Neurological Sciences (USA) and EC Neurology (UK). An International Neuroethics Society Expert he is the author of more than 95 papers and book chapters in such varied journals/venues as Neurology and Neurological Sciences (USA), Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Religion and Mental Health, and IEEE Explore. In 2018 he was a finalist in the international Joseph Ratzinger Expanded Reason award sponsored by the Francis Vittorio University of Madrid.