Author(s): McDonough BE, Warren CA
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Abstract RATIONALE: A cigarette smoker's reactivity to smoking cues, or cue-reactivity, traditionally has been indexed by self-report and/or measures of autonomic nervous system activity. Recent evidence suggests that measures of central nervous system activity in the form of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) may also index cue-reactivity in smokers. OBJECTIVE: The present study sought to confirm the sensitivity of ERPs to smoking cues and to investigate the question of whether 12 h of smoking deprivation would enhance ERP cue-reactivity to such stimuli. METHODS: Scalp ERPs were recorded to 80 smoking-related pictures and 80 neutral pictures, i.e., similar pictures with a nonsmoking theme, in 19 tobacco-deprived smokers, 17 nondeprived smokers, and 19 nonsmokers. RESULTS: Smokers' N300 amplitudes over fronto-central scalp were larger to neutral than to smoking-related stimuli, thus reflecting N300 smoking cue-reactivity. N300 cue-reactivity was greater for deprived than for nondeprived smokers. Smokers' P300 values were greater to smoking-related than to neutral stimuli, particularly over the centro-parietal area; however, nonsmokers also showed a P300 main effect to smoking cues. Smoking deprivation did not affect P300 cue-reactivity, nor did deprivation affect self-reported urges to smoking relative to neutral cues. CONCLUSIONS: These data confirm the sensitivity of ERPs to tobacco cues in smokers and suggest, additionally, that the cue-reactivity of the N300 component is modulated by smoking deprivation. N300 cue-reactivity may reflect an internally generated priming of the semantic network related to the smokers' need states. Stimulus-category differences in P300 may reflect cue-reactivity in smokers and/or nonaddiction-specific factors in both smokers and nonsmokers.
This article was published in Psychopharmacology (Berl)
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals