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).


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of the $40.2-billion-dollar budget for the VA is spent treating smoking related diseases


smokers by 2025


people per year in the U.S. killed from tobacco use


Americans smoke


In 2017, the lab reported that, in African American smokers, attentional retraining delivered on mobile devices reduces attention to smoking cues and reduces smoking over time.

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In 2018, the lab reported that galantamine, a medication that can improve cognition, reduces nicotine intake in smokers intending to quit (funded by NIH R21 DA034815)

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In 2015, the lab completed the first study to administer attentional retraining on a mobile device (funded by NIH R21 CA161393). In 2015, the lab also conducted the first study to use Ecological Momentary Assessment in a Korean sample.

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