Individual differences in brain responses to cigarette-related cues and pleasant stimuli in young smokers

Jeffrey M. Engelmann, Francesco Versace, Jonathan C. Gewirtz, Paul M. Cinciripini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Decreased sensitivity to pleasant stimuli is associated with a higher vulnerability to nicotine dependence in youths and with difficulty quitting in adult smokers. Recently, we showed that smokers showing lower brain reactivity to non-cigarette-related pleasant images than to cigarette-related ones have lower chances of achieving long-term abstinence during a quit attempt. Methods: We tested whether individual differences in brain responses to cigarette-related and pleasant stimuli require a long history of smoking to develop by measuring the late positive potential (LPP) to cigarette cues, emotional, and neutral stimuli in 45 young, light smokers (ages 18-25). k-means cluster analysis was used to partition smokers into two groups based on the magnitude of their LPPs. Results: Group 1 was characterized by larger LPPs to pleasant pictures than cigarette-related pictures whereas Group 2 showed the opposite pattern. Conclusions: Our results suggest that individual differences in brain responses to cigarette-related and pleasant cues do not require a long smoking history to develop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume163
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Emotion
  • Smoking
  • Young adults

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