Smoking withdrawal shifts the spatiotemporal dynamics of neurocognition.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Smoking withdrawal is associated with significant deficits in the ability to initiate and maintain attention for extended periods of time (i.e. sustained attention; SA). However, the effects of smoking abstinence on the temporal dynamics of neurocognition during SA have not been evaluated. Twenty adult smokers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scans following smoking as usual and after 24-hours abstinence. During scanning they completed a SA task with two levels of task difficulty, designed to measure both sustained (i.e. over the duration of the task) and transient (i.e. event-related) activation. Smoking abstinence significantly decreased task accuracy regardless of task difficulty. Compared to smoking as usual, abstinence resulted in decreased sustained activation in right inferior and middle frontal gyri but increased transient activation across dispersed cortical areas including precuneus and right superior frontal gyrus. Greater task difficulty was associated with even greater transient activation during abstinence in mostly right hemisphere regions including right inferior frontal gyrus. These findings suggest smoking withdrawal shifts the temporal and spatial dynamics of neurocognition from sustained, right prefrontal activation reflecting proactive cognitive control (Braver, Gray & Burgess 2009) to more dispersed and transient activation reflecting reactive control.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kozink, RV; Lutz, AM; Rose, JE; Froeliger, B; McClernon, FJ

Published Date

  • October 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 480 - 490

PubMed ID

  • 21040240

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2996612

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1369-1600

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2010.00252.x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States