Addictions focus on alterations in the brain's mesolimbic dopamine pathway, also known as the reward circuit, which begins in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) above the brain stem. Addiction is a complex disease that affects brain function. The part of the brain that causes addiction is called the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. It's sometimes called a brain reward circuit.
Let's take a closer look at the causes of addiction and how this area of the brain is affected. There are two regions of the brain that are commonly discussed when it comes to addictions: the prefrontal cortex and the midbrain. These areas of the brain are two very different regions with functional differences that corroborate the maintenance of homeostasis. The two parts of the brain most affected by the disease of addiction are the primitive brain or reptile and the neomammalian cortex or brain.
Other magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that the cerebellum of people living with an addiction is hyperactive in response to stimuli related to their addiction, such as the image of a syringe. Discovering information about which part of the brain controls addiction can help shed light on factors that go beyond reasoning and perceived impulse control. Addiction specialists have found that people with active addictions experience abnormalities in the brain of reptiles.