Dysfunction in the brain’s reward system response, and familial history of alcoholism, each increase the risk for problem drinking. Is it possible that these factors exert their effects not just in isolation, but in conjunction? In other words, is someone with a family history of alcoholism more likely to have an exaggerated brain response to rewarding stimuli? This week, the DRAM reviews a study by William J.A. Eiler II and his colleagues that explores this question.