Neurologically Plausible Distinctions in Cognition Relevant to Drug Use Etiology and Prevention

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Cognitive Neuroscience | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Substance Abuse and Addiction


This article outlines several distinctions in cognition and related topics in emotion that receive support from work in cognitive neuroscience and have important implications for prevention: implicit cognition, working memory, nonverbal memory, and neurobiological systems of habit. These distinctions have not been widely acknowledged or applied in drug use prevention research, despite their neural plausibility and the availability of methods to make this link. The authors briefly review the basis for the distinctions and indicate general implications and assessment possibilities for prevention researchers conducting large-scale field trials. Subsequently, the article outlines a connectionist framework for specific applications in prevention interventions. These possibilities begin the attempt to derive useful fusions of normally distinct areas of prevention and cognitive neuroscience, in the spirit of a transdisciplinary approach.

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© 2004 Informa Healthcare