Effects of smoking abstinence on reaction time variability in smokers with and without ADHD: an ex-Gaussian analysis.
Smoking abstinence differentially affects cognitive functioning in smokers with ADHD, compared to non-ADHD smokers. Alternative approaches for analyzing reaction time data from these tasks may further elucidate important group differences. Adults smoking > or = 15 cigarettes with (n=12) or without (n=14) a diagnosis of ADHD completed a continuous performance task (CPT) during two sessions under two separate laboratory conditions--a 'Satiated' condition wherein participants smoked up to and during the session; and an 'Abstinent' condition, in which participants were abstinent overnight and during the session. Reaction time (RT) distributions from the CPT were modeled to fit an ex-Gaussian distribution. The indicator of central tendency for RT from the normal component of the RT distribution (mu) showed a main effect of Group (ADHD < Control) and a Group x Session interaction (ADHD group RTs decreased when abstinent). RT standard deviation for the normal component of the distribution (sigma) showed no effects. The ex-Gaussian parameter tau, which describes the mean and standard deviation of the non-normal component of the distribution, showed significant effects of session (Abstinent > Satiated), Group x Session interaction (ADHD increased significantly under Abstinent condition compared to Control), and a trend toward a main effect of Group (ADHD > Control). Alternative approaches to analyzing RT data provide a more detailed description of the effects of smoking abstinence in ADHD and non-ADHD smokers and results differ from analyses using more traditional approaches. These findings have implications for understanding the neuropsychopharmacology of nicotine and nicotine withdrawal.
Kollins, SH; McClernon, FJ; Epstein, JN
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