Stephanie M. Groman, M.A. and J. David Jentsch, Ph.D.
The phenotypic complexity of psychiatric conditions is revealed by the dimensional nature of these disorders, which consist of multiple behavioral, affective, and cognitive dysfunctions that can result in substantial psychosocial impairment. The high degree of heterogeneity in symptomatology and comorbidity suggests that simple categorical diagnoses of ‘‘affected’’ or ‘‘unaffected’’ may fail to capture the true characteristics of the disorder in a manner relevant to individualized treatment. A particular dimension of interest is cognitive control ability because impairments in the capacity to control thoughts, feelings, and actions are key to several psychiatric disorders. Here, we describe evidence suggesting that cognitive control over behavior is a crucial dimension of function relevant to addictions. Moreover, dopamine (DA) D2-receptor transmission is increasingly being identified as a point of convergence for these behavioral and cognitive processes. Consequently, we argue that measures of cognitive control and D2 DA receptor function may be particularly informative markers of individual function and treatment response in addictions. Depression and Anxiety 0:1–12, 2011.