In the past decades we have learned that chronic substance use is associated with specific cognitive impairments depending on the substance class. Previous studies with intense and mostly addicted stimulant (such as cocaine and methamphetamine) users have demonstrated not only basal impairments in attention, memory, and executive functions, but also specific disturbances in social cognition and prosocial behaviour, likely contributing to social dysfunctions in daily life of the users. However, the neurosocial profile of the use of other substance classes (such as cannabis, Ecstasy, opioids) as well as of less intense consumption patterns remains largely unknown.
In his talk, Prof. Quednow presents the studies/experiments he and his lab conducted to determine substance use-related alterations in a comprehensive array of social behaviors of young urban adults.
Boris B. Quednow studied psychology at the University of Bonn. He wrote his dissertation on the neurobiological and cognitive consequences of Ecstasy (MDMA) use at the Ruhr-University of Bochum and worked as a research assistant at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Bonn. At present, he is Associate Professor for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacopsychology at the Department for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics of the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich. His main research interests are the behavioral neurotoxicology and neuroplasticity of substance use as well as the neuropsychopharmacology of disturbed brain functions in psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia and addiction.