Masked smoking-related images modulate brain activity in smokers.


Journal Article

The questions of whether and how indiscriminate drug-related stimuli could influence drug-users are important to our understanding of addictive behavior, but the answers are still inconclusive. In the present preliminary functional magnetic resonance imaging study using a backward masking paradigm, the effect of indiscriminate smoking-related stimuli on 10 smokers and 10 nonsmokers was examined. The BOLD response showed a significant reduction (P = 0.001) in the right amygdala of smokers when they viewed but did not perceive masked smoking-related stimuli, while no significant differences were found in the nonsmoker group. More voxels in anterior cingulate cortex were negatively correlated with the amygdala during the masked smoking-related picture condition in smokers but not in nonsmokers, whereas more positively correlated voxels were observed during the masked neutral condition. The BOLD response in drug-users indicates the amygdala responds to drug-related stimuli that are below the perceptual threshold. The functional connectivity data suggest a functional interaction between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex when drug users view 33 ms back-masked drug-related stimuli. This observation suggests that the amygdala plays an important role in the indiscriminate drug-related cue process.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, X; Chen, X; Yu, Y; Sun, D; Ma, N; He, S; Hu, X; Zhang, D

Published Date

  • March 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 896 - 907

PubMed ID

  • 18344177

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18344177

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-0193

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1065-9471

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/hbm.20552


  • eng