Adolescent neurocognitive development and impacts of substance use: Overview of the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) baseline neurocognition battery

Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2018 Aug;32:67-79. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2018.02.006. Epub 2018 Feb 21.


Adolescence is characterized by numerous social, hormonal and physical changes, as well as a marked increase in risk-taking behaviors. Dual systems models attribute adolescent risk-taking to tensions between developing capacities for cognitive control and motivational strivings, which may peak at this time. A comprehensive understanding of neurocognitive development during the adolescent period is necessary to permit the distinction between premorbid vulnerabilities and consequences of behaviors such as substance use. Thus, the prospective assessment of cognitive development is fundamental to the aims of the newly launched Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Consortium. This paper details the rationale for ABC'lected measures of neurocognition, presents preliminary descriptive data on an initial sample of 2299 participants, and provides a context for how this large-scale project can inform our understanding of adolescent neurodevelopment.

Keywords: Adolescence; Longitudinal; NIH Toolbox; Neurocognition; Substance use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development / physiology*
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Status and Dementia Tests*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*