The field of addiction has grown exponentially in the last 60 years with abundant research and results. Today we understand that addiction is less of a disease and more of a choice, however, it continues to be a perplexing disease. The focus of this thesis project is to condense the theories presented in Dr. Ronald Ruden's book The Craving Brain into a 7 minute animated film. The film illustrates three major topics outlined in the book: "Landscaping the Brain", stress, and neurotransmitters. The conclusion ties it all together showing how each individual piece contributes to the makeup of the addictive brain. This is a 2- dimensional animated film with accompanying voice over and sound track. There is no dialogue, only narration explaining the animated visuals on screen. This film is not a slide show of illustrations, however; but a twofold and comprehensive exploration of filmmaking and the pathology of addiction. This film is intended to supplement Ruden's book The Craving Brain. It can stand alone as a teaching tool, but it is not a deep and thorough explanation of addiction. Like Ruden's book, it is intended for a variety of audiences from little to no knowledge of science and medicine to professionals in the field.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Substance abuse--Pathophysiology--Pictorial works; Compulsive behavior--Pathophysiology--Pictorial works; Dopamine--Physiological effect--Pictorial works; Serotonin--Physiological effect--Pictorial works; Educational films; Computer animation--Technique
Department, Program, or Center
Medical Illustration (CHST)
Dougherty, Janis, "The Pathology of addiction" (2010). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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