This research was supported by NIH 5-T32-HD00715 and the University of Minnesota. Jeffrey M. Engelmann is now at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Bruce N. Cuthbert is now at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
Emotional reactivity to emotional and smoking cues during smoking abstinence: Potentiated startle and P300 suppression
Article first published online: 28 JUL 2011
Copyright © 2011 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 48, Issue 12, pages 1656–1668, December 2011
How to Cite
Engelmann, J. M., Gewirtz, J. C. and Cuthbert, B. N. (2011), Emotional reactivity to emotional and smoking cues during smoking abstinence: Potentiated startle and P300 suppression. Psychophysiology, 48: 1656–1668. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01235.x
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 28 JUL 2011
- (Received March 11, 2011; Accepted June 3, 2011)
Negative affect is thought to be an important factor in the maintenance of cigarette smoking, and thus it is important to further develop objective measures of smoking-related emotional responses. Nonsmokers, nonabstinent smokers, and abstinent smokers participated in a cue reactivity task where eyeblink startle amplitude and startle probe P300 (P3) suppression were measured during the presentation of emotional pictures. During unpleasant pictures, the amplitude of both measures was smaller in nonabstinent smokers than in nonsmokers or abstinent smokers. P3 suppression, but not startle amplitude, was larger in abstinent smokers than in nonsmokers. Abstinence-induced increases in cigarette craving were associated with P3 suppression during tobacco-related pictures. Results suggest that tobacco abstinence increases emotional reactivity to unpleasant stimuli, which is consistent with negative reinforcement models of tobacco addiction.