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Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience to Inform Cognitive-Control Interventions for Drug Abuse: Introduction to the Special Section


  • The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policy of the US DHHS. We would like to thank Barbara Usher, Ph.D., NIDA/NIH/DHHS, for her thoughtful comments on this article.
  • Karen Y. Sirocco and Cheryl A. Boyce are NIH/US Federal Government employees. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Karen Y. Sirocco, NIDA/NIH/DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892; e-mail:


Cognitive control has long been a validated construct to explain risk for drug abuse. Research evidence suggests that cognitive-control interventions show promise for future preventive intervention and treatment efforts across development. Biomarkers of the efficacy of these interventions have also been identified. To examine the potential of utilizing developmental cognitive neuroscience to guide cognitive-control interventions for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders, the National Institute on Drug Abuse held a research roundtable in Rockville, Maryland, in May 2010. The research presented at the roundtable and reviewed in this Special Section of Child Development Perspectives highlights the promise of cognitive-control interventions for enhancing, or ameliorating deficits in, executive functions relevant to substance use disorders, as well as the promise of neuroscience techniques for guiding the conceptualization of these interventions.

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