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Neuropsychosocial profiles of current and future adolescent alcohol misusers


Robert Whelan

Richard Watts

Catherine A. Orr

Robert R. Althoff

Eric Artiges

Tobias Banaschewski

Gareth J. Barker

Arun L. W. Bokde


Fabiana M. Carvalho

Patricia J. Conrod

Herta Flor


Vincent Frouin

Juergen Gallinat

Gabriela Gan

Andreas Heinz

Bernd Ittermann

Claire Lawrence

Karl Mann

Jean-Luc Martinot

Frauke Nees

Nick Ortiz


Tomas Paus

Zdenka Pausova

Marcella Rietschel

Trevor W. Robbins

Michael N. Smolka


Gunter Schumann

Hugh Garavan

Lisa Albrecht

Mercedes Arroyo

Semiha Aydin

Christine Bach

Alexis Barbot

Zuleima Bricaud

Uli Bromberg

Ruediger Bruehl

Anna Cattrell

Katharina Czech

Jeffrey Dalley

Sylvane Desrivieres

Tahmine Fadai

Birgit Fuchs

Fanny Gollier Briand

Kay Head

Bert Heinrichs

Nadja Heym


Albrecht Ihlenfeld

James Ireland

Nikolay Ivanov

Tianye Jia

Jennifer Jones

Agnes Kepa

Dirk Lanzerath

Mark Lathrop



Lourdes Martinez-Medina

Xavier Mignon

Ruben Miranda


Charlotte Nymberg

Jani Pentilla

Jean-Baptiste Poline

Luise Poustka

Michael Rapp

Stephan Ripke

Sarah Rodehacke

John Rogers

Alexander Romanowski

Barbara Ruggeri


Dirk Schmidt

Sophia Schneider

Markus Schroeder

Florian Schubert

Wolfgang Sommer

Rainer Spanagel

David Stacey

Sabina Steiner

Dai Stephens

Nicole Strache

Maren Struve

Amir Tahmasebi

Lauren Topper

Helene Vulser

Bernadeta Walaszek

Helen Werts

Steve Williams

C. Peng Wong

Juliana Yacubian

Veronika Ziesch


A comprehensive account of the causes of alcohol misuse must accommodate individual differences in biology, psychology and environment, and must disentangle cause and effect. Animal models can demonstrate the effects of neurotoxic substances; however, they provide limited insight into the psycho-social and higher cognitive factors involved in the initiation of substance use and progression to misuse. One can search for pre-existing risk factors by testing for endophenotypic biomarkers in non-using relatives; however, these relatives may have personality or neural resilience factors that protect them from developing dependence. A longitudinal study has potential to identify predictors of adolescent substance misuse, particularly if it can incorporate a wide range of potential causal factors, both proximal and distal, and their influence on numerous social, psychological and biological mechanisms. Here we apply machine learning to a wide range of data from a large sample of adolescents (n = 692) to generate models of current and future adolescent alcohol misuse that incorporate brain structure and function, individual personality and cognitive differences, environmental factors (including gestational cigarette and alcohol exposure), life experiences, and candidate genes. These models were accurate and generalized to novel data, and point to life experiences, neurobiological differences and personality as important antecedents of binge drinking. By identifying the vulnerability factors underlying individual differences in alcohol misuse, these models shed light on the aetiology of alcohol misuse and suggest targets for prevention. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Whelan, R., Watts, R., Orr, C. A., Althoff, R. R., Artiges, E., Banaschewski, T., …Ziesch, V. (2014). Neuropsychosocial profiles of current and future adolescent alcohol misusers. Nature, 512(7513), 185-189.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 23, 2014
Online Publication Date Jul 2, 2014
Publication Date Aug 14, 2014
Deposit Date Aug 11, 2017
Journal Nature
Print ISSN 0028-0836
Electronic ISSN 1476-4687
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 512
Issue 7513
Pages 185-189
Public URL
Publisher URL