DR. ANDREW WATERS: LABORATORY OF COGNITIVE INTERVENTIONS
Drug use is an enormous public health problem for both civilian and military populations. Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death, and excessive alcohol use remains a significant global health problem. In the US, the opioid crisis continues to grow. The Laboratory of Cognitive Interventions (LOCI) examines the affective and cognitive processes or biases associated with drug use and relapse using mobile devices such as smartphones for both assessment and intervention. Once these cognitive biases are identified, cognitive retraining interventions are developed to target (reduce) these cognitive biases. Cognitive retraining interventions, such as attentional retraining, can be delivered in the laboratory or using mobile devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) or Smartphones. Currently the laboratory is examining the efficacy of an attentional retraining intervention for smoking cessation delivered on a Smartphone. The laboratory is also investigating the utility of mindfulness-based interventions and pharmacological interventions that improve cognition. Ultimately, cognitive interventions might be delivered on a Smartphone when the individual is most in need of the intervention (EMI, Ecological Momentary Intervention).