This work was supported in part by NIH Grant 1R01DA017073-01 to Paul Cinciripini. The authors thank Krystle Bartley, Paul Longoria, Kevin Mulpur, Cissette Muster, and Susana Torres for their help in data collection.
Cigarette cues capture smokers' attention: Evidence from event-related potentials
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 47, Issue 3, pages 435–441, May 2010
How to Cite
Versace, F., Robinson, J. D., Lam, C. Y., Minnix, J. A., Brown, V. L., Carter, B. L., Wetter, D. W. and Cinciripini, P. M. (2010), Cigarette cues capture smokers' attention: Evidence from event-related potentials. Psychophysiology, 47: 435–441. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00946.x
- Issue published online: 6 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2010
- (Received March 23, 2009; Accepted June 4, 2009)
Before starting a smoking cessation treatment, 51 smokers took part in a study aimed at investigating brain mechanisms associated with attention allocation. Event-related potentials to acoustic startle probes were recorded from 129 sensors during the presentation of neutral, pleasant, unpleasant, and cigarette-related pictures. Results indicated that the amplitude of the startle probe P3 component was reduced for pleasant, unpleasant, and cigarette-related conditions relative to neutral. Surface Laplacian estimates showed that sources of electrocortical activity under frontal and parietal sensors contributed to the modulation of this effect. For smokers, cigarette-related stimuli, like intrinsically motivating ones, capture attentional resources and therefore reduce the ability to process competing stimuli. The depletion of attentional resources in the presence of cigarette-related cues may contribute to the high relapse rate observed during attempts to quit smoking.