This study was supported, in part, by the Provost's Award for Graduate Research awarded by the University of Illinois at Chicago to J. E. Greenstein. Portions of this article were presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Chicago, Illinois, in 2006 and at the 47th annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Savannah, Georgia in 2007. We are grateful to the several research assistants who assisted with data collection.
The effects of smoking on selective attention as measured by startle reflex, skin conductance, and heart rate responses to auditory startle stimuli
Article first published online: 15 SEP 2009
Copyright © 2009 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 47, Issue 1, pages 15–24, January 2010
How to Cite
Greenstein, J. E. and Kassel, J. D. (2010), The effects of smoking on selective attention as measured by startle reflex, skin conductance, and heart rate responses to auditory startle stimuli. Psychophysiology, 47: 15–24. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00882.x
- Issue published online: 17 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 15 SEP 2009
- (Received September 17, 2008; Accepted March 18, 2009)
- Normal volunteers;
- Startle blink;
- Heart rate;
The present study examined the effects of cigarette smoking on attentional processing by measuring nondeprived smokers' (n=39), minimally deprived smokers' (n=36), and nonsmokers' (n=34) startle eyeblink reflex, heart rate, and skin conductance responses (SCR) to acoustic startle stimuli (105 dB) during directed attention tasks. Whereas smokers demonstrated smaller startle responses than nonsmokers during a directed attention visual task, no difference in startle response magnitude emerged between the two smoking groups, nor did we observe an effect of smoking on SCR or heart rate response to the startle stimuli. Our findings suggest that smokers differ from nonsmokers in their selective attention abilities and that smoking does not enhance minimally deprived smokers' selective attention.