Contemporary models of substance use disorders emphasize the role of cognitive control, which has been linked to difficulties in resisting the use of substances. In the present study, we measured two aspects of cognitive control, response inhibition (operationalized by a Go/NoGo Task) and performance monitoring (operationalized by an Eriksen Flanker Task), in a group of young cannabis-use disorder (CUD) patients and compared these functions with two control groups (i.e. a group of cigarette smokers and a group of non-smokers). We employed both behavioural and electrophysiological measures. The results indicate that CUD patients displayed reduced NoGo-P3 event-related potentials compared with non-smoking controls, but not compared with smoking controls. In addition, CUD patients were slower on Go trials than both control groups. No other between-group electrophysiological or behavioural differences were observed. These results seem to suggest that CUD patients have problems related to response inhibition, but performance monitoring seems relatively unaffected.

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Journal of Psychopharmacology
Department of Psychology

Maij, D.L.R. (David L.R.), van de Wetering, B., & Franken, I. (2017). Cognitive control in young adults with cannabis use disorder: An event-related brain potential study. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 31(8), 1015–1026. doi:10.1177/0269881117719262