Effects of nicotine on brain responses to emotional pictures.
Given that nicotine reduces negative affect, one would expect nicotine to have different effects on brain responses to emotionally negative stimuli than it does on responses to emotionally neutral or positive stimuli. However, no studies have assessed this possibility. The present study assessed the effects of nicotine patch versus placebo patch on brain event-related potential (ERP) responses to emotion-inducing negative, positive, and neutral color pictures in 16 smokers in a double-blind, counterbalanced, within-subjects design. The study included four experimental sessions. After overnight smoking deprivation (12 hr or more), active nicotine patches were applied to participants during one of the first two sessions and during one of the last two sessions. Placebo patches were applied during the other two sessions. Nicotine reduced frontal ERP processing voltage negativity (from 144-488 ms poststimulus onset) evoked by viewing emotionally negative pictures to a greater extent than it did when emotionally neutral pictures were viewed, whereas it had no effect on processing negativity evoked by positive pictures. Nicotine also enhanced P390 amplitudes evoked by emotionally negative pictures more than it did when emotionally neutral and positive pictures were viewed. Across picture types, nicotine (relative to placebo) reduced N300 amplitude (more at anterior and dorsal sites) and increased P390 amplitude. Overall, nicotine influenced ERPs to emotionally neutral and positive pictures less than it did to negative pictures.
Gilbert, DG; Sugai, C; Zuo, Y; Eau Claire, N; McClernon, FJ; Rabinovich, NE; Markus, T; Asgaard, G; Radtke, R
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