, 208:201

Are attention lapses related to d-amphetamine liking?

  • Michael McCloskey
  • Abraham A. Palmer
  • Harriet de Wit
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-009-1719-9

Cite this article as:
McCloskey, M., Palmer, A.A. & de Wit, H. Psychopharmacology (2010) 208: 201. doi:10.1007/s00213-009-1719-9



A rich literature suggests that both impulsiveness and drug-induced euphoria are risk factors for drug abuse. However, few studies have examined whether sensitivity to the euphoric effects of stimulants is related to attention lapses, a behavioral measure of inattention sometimes associated with impulsivity.


The aim of the study was to examine ratings of d-amphetamine drug liking among individuals with high, moderate, and low attention lapses.


Ninety-nine healthy volunteers were divided into three equal-sized groups based on their performance on a measure of lapses of attention. The groups, who exhibited low, medium, and high attention lapses (i.e., long reaction times) on a simple reaction time task, were compared on their subjective responses (i.e., ratings of liking and wanting more drug) after acute doses of d-amphetamine (0, 5, 10, and 20 mg).


Subjects who exhibited high lapses liked 20 mg d-amphetamine less than subjects who exhibited low lapses. These subjects also tended to report smaller increases in “wanting more drug” after d-amphetamine.


The findings suggest that participants who exhibit impaired attention may be less sensitive to stimulant-induced euphoria.


Inattention d-amphetamineRewardDrug likingSubjective effectsDopamineImpulsiveness

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael McCloskey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Abraham A. Palmer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Harriet de Wit
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeuroscienceUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Human GeneticsUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA