Chapter

Nicotine Psychopharmacology

Volume 192 of the series Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology pp 113-143

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies of Cigarette Smoking

  • Allen AzizianAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California
  • , John MonterossoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California
  • , Joseph O'NeillAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California
  • , Edythe D. LondonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, and Brain Research Institute, University of California

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Abstract

This chapter reviews studies that have applied magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) toward a better understanding of the neurobiological correlates and consequences of cigarette smoking and nicotine dependence. The findings demonstrate that smokers differ from nonsmokers in regional brain structure and neurochemistry, as well as in activation in response to smoking-related stimuli and during the execution of cognitive tasks. We also review functional neuroimaging studies on the effects of nicotine administration on brain activity, both at rest and during the execution of cognitive tasks, independent of issues related to nicotine withdrawal and craving. Although chronic cigarette smoking is associated with poor cognitive performance, acute nicotine administration appears to enhance cognitive performance and increase neural efficiency in smokers.