Marijuana Use Impacts Cognitive Interference: An fMRI Investigation in Young Adults Performing the Counting Stroop Task | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2155-6105

Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
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Research Article

Marijuana Use Impacts Cognitive Interference: An fMRI Investigation in Young Adults Performing the Counting Stroop Task

Taylor Hatcharda1, Peter A Friedb2, Matthew J Hoganc3, Ian Cameron4 and Andra M Smitha1*

1School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, 136 Jean Jacques Lussier, Ottawa, ON, Canada

2Department of Psychology Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, Canada

3Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 725 Parkdale Ave, Ottawa, ON, Canada

4Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Ottawa Hospital, 1053 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Corresponding Author:
Andra M Smitha
School of Psychology, University of Ottawa
136 Jean Jacques Lussier, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5, Canada
Tel: 613-562-5800
Ext : 2671
Fax: 613-562-5147
E-mail : [email protected]

Received date: August 06, 2014; Accepted date: October 13, 2014; Published date: October 16, 2014

Citation: Hatcharda T, Friedb PA, Hoganc MJ, Cameron I, Smitha AM (2014) Marijuana Use Impacts Cognitive Interference: An fMRI Investigation in Young Adults Performing the Counting Stroop Task. J Addict Res Ther 5:197. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000197

Copyright: © 2014 Hatcharda T, et al. This is an open-access article distributedunder the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


There is a growing body of evidence that marijuana use during adolescence, a critical period in neurocognitive development, may have lasting detrimental impact on executive functioning. The Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study (OPPS) has followed participants over 20 years, from birth to young adulthood, and has collected data on potentially confounding lifestyle variables, such as prenatal drug exposure and current drug use. In the present study, we report the effects of heavy adolescent onset marijuana use on cognitive interference while performing a Counting Stroop task using fMRI in a sample of OPPS participants, while controlling for current nicotine use and prenatal marijuana exposure. Despite a lack of performance differences, the neural activity of young adults who use marijuana on a regular basis differed significantly compared to non-users while performing the task. This included increased activity in the right rolandic operculum, cerebellar tonsil, bilateral postcentral gyrus, cingulate gyrus, and right supplementary motor area. This recruitment of additional brain regions is suggestive of compensatory strategies among marijuana users in order to successfully complete the task, highlighting the impact of early marijuana use on neurocognitive development and altered brain function.


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