Jason Oliver

Overview:

Dr. Oliver is a clinical psychologist by training and is currently pursuing licensure in North Carolina. He received his graduate degree from the University of South Florida and completed his doctoral internship at Yale University School of Medicine. His research focuses on understanding of addictive behaviors, with a particular emphasis on tobacco use. His research program is heavily translational and includes both basic and clinical components. He has experience conducting human laboratory research, clinical trials and policy research. Long-term, he aims to identify new neural and behavioral markers for addiction that can serve as targets for novel interventions. 

Positions:

Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Addiction
School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Education:

Ph.D. 2015

University of South Florida

Grants:

Publications:

Nicotine Withdrawal Induces Neural Deficits in Reward Processing.

Introduction: Nicotine withdrawal reduces neurobiological responses to nonsmoking rewards. Insight into these reward deficits could inform the development of targeted interventions. This study examined the effect of withdrawal on neural and behavioral responses during a reward prediction task. Methods: Smokers (N = 48) attended two laboratory sessions following overnight abstinence. Withdrawal was manipulated by having participants smoke three regular nicotine (0.6 mg yield; satiation) or very low nicotine (0.05 mg yield; withdrawal) cigarettes. Electrophysiological recordings of neural activity were obtained while participants completed a reward prediction task that involved viewing four combinations of predictive and reward-determining stimuli: (1) Unexpected Reward; (2) Predicted Reward; (3) Predicted Punishment; (4) Unexpected Punishment. The task evokes a medial frontal negativity that mimics the phasic pattern of dopaminergic firing in ventral tegmental regions associated with reward prediction errors. Results: Nicotine withdrawal decreased the amplitude of the medial frontal negativity equally across all trial types (p < .001). Exploratory analyses indicated withdrawal increased time to initiate the next trial following unexpected punishment trials (p < .001) and response time on reward trials during withdrawal was positively related to nicotine dependence (p < .001). Conclusions: Nicotine withdrawal had equivocal impact across trial types, suggesting reward processing deficits are unlikely to stem from changes in phasic dopaminergic activity during prediction errors. Effects on tonic activity may be more pronounced. Pharmacological interventions directly targeting the dopamine system and behavioral interventions designed to increase reward motivation and responsiveness (eg, behavioral activation) may aid in mitigating withdrawal symptoms and potentially improving smoking cessation outcomes. Implications: Findings from this study indicate nicotine withdrawal impacts reward processing signals that are observable in smokers' neural activity. This may play a role in the subjective aversive experience of nicotine withdrawal and potentially contribute to smoking relapse. Interventions that address abnormal responding to both pleasant and unpleasant stimuli may be particularly effective for alleviating nicotine withdrawal.
Authors
Oliver, JA; Evans, DE; Addicott, MA; Potts, GF; Brandon, TH; Drobes, DJ
MLA Citation
Oliver, Jason A., et al. “Nicotine Withdrawal Induces Neural Deficits in Reward Processing..” Nicotine Tob Res, vol. 19, no. 6, June 2017, pp. 686–93. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/ntr/ntx067.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1268421
PMID
28371807
Source
pubmed
Published In
Nicotine Tob Res
Volume
19
Published Date
Start Page
686
End Page
693
DOI
10.1093/ntr/ntx067

Effects of divalproex on smoking cue reactivity and cessation outcomes among smokers achieving initial abstinence.

Divalproex, a GABA agonist, may be a useful agent in the treatment of tobacco dependence. Cue reactivity assessment paradigms are ideally suited to explore basic mechanisms underlying the pharmacological effects of medications that purport to have efficacy for smoking cessation. Our primary goal in the current study was to examine the effects of divalproex on in-treatment reactivity to smoking-relevant and affective cues, and to determine if these reactions were predictive of posttreatment smoking behavior. There were 120 nicotine dependent smokers enrolled in an 8-week double-blind clinical trial and randomly assigned to either divalproex or placebo conditions. Of these, 72 smokers (60% female) who achieved a minimal level of abstinence underwent an in-treatment cue reactivity assessment. Contrary to expectations, divalproex was associated with greater craving and arousal during smoking cue presentation. Divalproex also inhibited cardiovascular response to pleasant cues. Although no significant differences in cessation-related outcomes between divalproex- and placebo-treated participants were observed, cue-elicited craving to smoke predicted end-of-treatment and posttreatment smoking rates. These findings suggest that in-treatment cue reactivity assessment may proactively and dynamically inform ongoing treatment as well as provide a tool for screening potential medications for smoking cessation.
Authors
Ditre, JW; Oliver, JA; Myrick, H; Henderson, S; Saladin, ME; Drobes, DJ
MLA Citation
Ditre, Joseph W., et al. “Effects of divalproex on smoking cue reactivity and cessation outcomes among smokers achieving initial abstinence..” Exp Clin Psychopharmacol, vol. 20, no. 4, Aug. 2012, pp. 293–301. Pubmed, doi:10.1037/a0027789.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1134682
PMID
22468897
Source
pubmed
Published In
Exp Clin Psychopharmacol
Volume
20
Published Date
Start Page
293
End Page
301
DOI
10.1037/a0027789

Post-operative smoking statusPost-operative smoking status in lung and head and neck cancer patients: Association with depressive symptomatology, pain and fatigue in lung and head and neck cancer patients

Authors
Bloom, EL; Oliver, JA; Sutton, SK; Brandon, TH; Jacobsen, PB; Simmons, VN
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1134673
Source
manual
Published In
Psycho Oncology
Volume
24
Published Date
Start Page
1012
End Page
1019

Varenicline effects on craving, cue reactivity, and smoking reward.

RATIONALE: Varenicline is an α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist that has been found to be effective for treating tobacco dependence. However, the subjective and behavioral mediators of its efficacy are not known. OBJECTIVES: Using multiple sessions of laboratory-based assessment, this double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment was designed to test if varenicline reduced both tonic and cue-provoked tobacco cravings, and if it attenuated perceived reward from smoking. METHODS: Participants in the present analysis include 100 smokers who were scheduled for three assessment sessions: at baseline, before receiving medication; at mid-run-in, 5-7 days after beginning medication; and after full dosage was reached, 12-15 days. Following overnight abstinence, each session included assessment of tonic craving, reactivity (including craving) to smoking cues, expected value of a cigarette, smoking behavior, and self-reported reward following smoking. RESULTS: Varenicline, compared to placebo, reduced tonic craving, cue-provoked craving by the final assessment, the expected value of cigarettes, number of puffs and time spent smoking, and self-reported reward (i.e., satisfaction) from smoking. CONCLUSIONS: Results showing that varenicline reduced tonic craving levels and perceived reward from smoking are consistent with reports from clinical trials, strengthening the evidence in support of these subjective mechanisms of action. This is the first placebo-controlled study to demonstrate that varenicline reduced cue-provoked cravings, thereby offering another potential mediator of its therapeutic effects. Findings may aid in the development of more targeted interventions for tobacco dependence.
Authors
Brandon, TH; Drobes, DJ; Unrod, M; Heckman, BW; Oliver, JA; Roetzheim, RC; Karver, SB; Small, BJ
MLA Citation
Brandon, Thomas H., et al. “Varenicline effects on craving, cue reactivity, and smoking reward..” Psychopharmacology (Berl), vol. 218, no. 2, Nov. 2011, pp. 391–403. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s00213-011-2327-z.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1275035
PMID
21559801
Source
pubmed
Published In
Psychopharmacology (Berl)
Volume
218
Published Date
Start Page
391
End Page
403
DOI
10.1007/s00213-011-2327-z

Does Extended Pre Quit Bupropion Aid in Extinguishing Smoking Behavior?

INTRODUCTION: Understanding the mechanisms by which bupropion promotes smoking cessation may lead to more effective treatment. To the extent that reduced smoking reinforcement is one such mechanism, a longer duration of pre quit bupropion treatment should promote extinction of smoking behavior. We evaluated whether 4 weeks of pre quit bupropion (extended run-in) results in greater pre quit reductions in smoking rate and cotinine and, secondarily, greater short-term abstinence, than standard 1 week of pre quit bupropion (standard run-in). METHODS: Adult smokers (n = 95; 48 females) were randomized to a standard run-in group (n = 48; 3-week placebo, then 1-week bupropion pre quit) or an extended run-in group (4-week pre quit bupropion; n = 47). Both groups received group behavioral counseling and 7 weeks of post quit bupropion. Smoking rate (and craving, withdrawal, and subjective effects) was collected daily during the pre quit period; biochemical data (cotinine and carbon monoxide) were collected at study visits. RESULTS: During the pre quit period, the extended run-in group exhibited a greater decrease in smoking rate, compared to the standard run-in group, interaction p = .03. Cigarette craving and salivary cotinine followed a similar pattern, though the latter was evident only among women. Biochemically verified 4-week continuous abstinence rates were higher in the extended run-in group (53%) than the standard run-in group (31%), p = .033. CONCLUSIONS: The extended use of bupropion prior to a quit attempt reduces smoking behavior during the pre quit period and improved short-term abstinence rates. The data are consistent with an extinction-of-reinforcement model and support further investigation of extended run-in bupropion therapy for smoking cessation.
Authors
Hawk, LW; Ashare, RL; Rhodes, JD; Oliver, JA; Cummings, KM; Mahoney, MC
MLA Citation
Hawk, Larry W., et al. “Does Extended Pre Quit Bupropion Aid in Extinguishing Smoking Behavior?.” Nicotine Tob Res, vol. 17, no. 11, Nov. 2015, pp. 1377–84. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/ntr/ntu347.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1134671
PMID
25589680
Source
pubmed
Published In
Nicotine Tob Res
Volume
17
Published Date
Start Page
1377
End Page
1384
DOI
10.1093/ntr/ntu347

Research Areas:

Alcohol
Cognition
Drug addiction
Evoked potentials (Electrophysiology)
Functional Neuroimaging
Nicotine
Psychophysiology
Reward