A pilot investigation of acute inhibitory control training in cocaine users

Joseph L. Alcorn, Erika Pike, William S. Stoops, Joshua A. Lile, Craig R. Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background Disrupted response inhibition and presence of drug-cue attentional bias in cocaine-using individuals have predicted poor treatment outcomes. Inhibitory control training could help improve treatment outcomes by strengthening cognitive control. This pilot study assessed the effects of acute inhibitory control training to drug- and non-drug-related cues on response inhibition performance and cocaine-cue attentional bias in cocaine-using individuals. Methods Participants who met criteria for a cocaine-use disorder underwent five sessions of inhibitory control training to either non-drug-related cues (i.e., rectangles) or cocaine cues (n = 10/condition) in a single day. Response inhibition and attentional bias were assessed prior to and following training using the stop-signal task and visual-probe task with eye tracking, respectively. Results Training condition groups did not differ on demographics, inhibitory control training performance, response inhibition, or cocaine-cue attentional bias. Response inhibition performance improved as a function of inhibitory control training in both conditions. Cocaine-cue attentional bias was observed, but did not change as a function of inhibitory control training in either condition. Conclusions Response inhibition in cocaine-using individuals was augmented by acute inhibitory control training, which may improve treatment outcomes through better behavioral inhibition. Future studies should investigate longer-term implementation of inhibitory control training, as well as combining inhibitory control training with other treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-149
Number of pages5
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grant numbers T32DA035200, R01DA025032, R01DA032254, R01DA033394, R21DA035481, R01DA036827 (PI: CRR), R21DA034095, R21DA035376, R01DA036553 (PI: WWS), R01DA033364 (PI: JAL) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These funding sources had no role in study design, data collection or analysis, or preparation and submission of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Attentional bias
  • Cocaine-use disorders
  • Inhibitory control training
  • Response inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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