Cortical activity differs during nicotine deprivation versus satiation in heavy smokers.
RATIONALE: Research suggests that nicotine deprivation among smokers is associated with lesser resting cortical activity (i.e., greater power density in theta and alpha-1 EEG bands and lesser power in beta bands). These changes in cortical activity may be indicative of withdrawal-related cognitive deficits, yet the markers of differences in cortical activity are not well-established. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to clarify the EEG frequency bands affected by nicotine deprivation and assess prospective moderators. METHOD: One hundred twenty-four heavy smokers visited the laboratory on two occasions following overnight smoking/nicotine deprivation. Prior to collecting 3 min of resting EEG data, participants smoked two very low nicotine cigarettes (<0.05 mg nicotine yield) at one session and two moderate nicotine cigarettes (0.60 mg nicotine yield) at the other. RESULTS: Theta and alpha-1 band (4-7 and 8-10 Hz) was greater in the very low nicotine (deprivation) relative to higher nicotine (satiation) condition. There were no condition differences in the beta-1 and beta-2 bands (14-20 and 21-30 Hz). CONCLUSIONS: Greater slow wave resting EEG may serve as a reliable marker of decreased cortical activity during smoking deprivation and, in turn, of withdrawal-related deficits in cognitive functioning. This research may inform the development of adjunct strategies for smoking cessation.
Evans, DE; Sutton, SK; Oliver, JA; Drobes, DJ
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