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Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental

Effect of nicotine on saccadic eye movement latencies in non-smokers

Authors

  • Alison C. Bowling,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Hogbin Drive, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450, Australia
    • School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Hogbin Drive, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450, Australia.
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  • James F. Donnelly

    1. School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Hogbin Drive, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450, Australia
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  • There is not potential conflict of interest

Abstract

Objective

Recently, saccadic eye movement tasks have been used to assess the effects of nicotine on higher cognitive processes, including inhibitory control. Saccadic task switching methods suggest that there is prolonged inhibition of the saccadic eye movement system following antisaccade trials. The objective of this research was to examine effects of nicotine on inhibition using saccadic task switching paradigms.

Methods

Nicotine and placebo lozenges were administered on separate days to 40 non-smokers who performed prosaccade and antisaccade tasks. In addition, participants performed a series of trials in which prosaccade and antisaccade tasks were switched. Eye movement latencies were recorded.

Results

Participants responded significantly faster for the nicotine condition than for the placebo condition. A switch benefit was observed for only placebo antisaccade trials, in that latencies of repetition trials were significantly longer than those of switch trials. In addition, an analysis of the repetition trials showed an interaction between saccade type and sequence position for the placebo condition, but not the nicotine condition.

Conclusion

Inhibition persists after antisaccade trials in a switching paradigm, but that the duration of this inhibition is reduced by nicotine. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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