The effects of nicotine and non-nicotine smoking factors on working memory and associated brain function.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Smoking abstinence impairs executive function, which may promote continued smoking behavior and relapse. The differential influence of nicotine and non-nicotine (i.e. sensory, motor) smoking factors and related neural substrates is not known. In a fully factorial, within-subjects design, 33 smokers underwent fMRI scanning following 24 hours of wearing a nicotine or placebo patch while smoking very low nicotine content cigarettes or remaining abstinent from smoking. During scanning, blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal was acquired while participants performed a verbal N-back task. Following 24-hour placebo (versus nicotine) administration, accuracy on the N-back task was significantly worse and task-related BOLD signal lower in dorsomedial frontal cortex. These effects were observed irrespective of smoking. Our data provide novel evidence that abstinence-induced deficits in working memory and changes in underlying brain function are due in large part to abstinence from nicotine compared with non-nicotine factors. This work has implications both for designing interventions that target abstinence-induced cognitive deficits and for nicotine-reduction policy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McClernon, FJ; Froeliger, B; Rose, JE; Kozink, RV; Addicott, MA; Sweitzer, MM; Westman, EC; Van Wert, DM

Published Date

  • July 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 954 - 961

PubMed ID

  • 25904425

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4618271

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1369-1600

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/adb.12253


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States