Psychopharmacology

, Volume 120, Issue 2, pp 209–212

Smoking, processing speed and attention in a choice reaction time task

  • T. Bates
  • G. Mangan
  • C. Stough
  • P. Corballis
Original Investigation

Abstract

Nineteen subjects performed a choice reaction time task in which two levels of choice (two and four stimuli), and two levels of spatial attention (narrow and wide) were manipulated under each of two smoking conditions: sham smoking (denicotinised cigarette) or regular smoking (0.8 mg nicotine cigarette). All three factors significantly affected reaction time, with the smallest reaction times being recorded to the two-choice narrow grouped stimuli recorded under the high nicotine condition. Nicotine appears to speed decision time for both complex and hard-to-attend tasks, which is compatible with a role for nicotinic receptors in systems jointly mediating attention, memory and processing speed.

Key words

Information processing Attention Decision time Nicotine Smoking 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adler LE, Hoffer LJ, Griffith J, Waldo MC, Freedman R (1992) Normalisation by nicotine of deficient sensory gating in the relatives of schizophrenics. Biol Psychiatry 32:607–616Google Scholar
  2. Bates TC (1992) A Macintosh II psychophysiology system. Behav Res Methods Instr Comput 23:395–402Google Scholar
  3. Bates TC, Eysenck HJ (1993) Inspection time decision time and intelligence. Intelligence 17:523–532Google Scholar
  4. Bates TC, Eysenck HJ (1994) A comparison of the information processing rates of nonsmokers and cigarette deprived smokers. Person Individ Diff 17:855–858Google Scholar
  5. Bates TC, Pellett O, Stough CK, Mangan GL (1994) The effects of smoking on simple and choice reaction time. Psychopharmacology 114:365–368Google Scholar
  6. Bors DA, MacLeod CM, Forrin B (1993) Eliminating the IQ-RT correlation by eliminating an experimental confound. Intelligence 17:475–500Google Scholar
  7. Callaway E, Halliday R, Naylor H (1992) Cholinergic activity and constraints on information processing. Bio Psychol 33:1–22Google Scholar
  8. Clarke PBS (1994) Current controversies in nicotine research. Presentation at the International Symposium on nicotine: the effects of nicotine on biological systems II. Satellite symposium of the XIIth International Congress of Pharmacology, Montreal, Canada, July 21–24Google Scholar
  9. Edwards JA, Wesnes K, Warburton DM, Gale A (1985) Evidence of more rapid stimulus evaluation following cigarette smoking. J Addict Behav 10:113–126Google Scholar
  10. Gray JA, Feldon J, Rawlins JNP, Hemsley DR, Smith AD (1992) The neuropsychology of schizophrenia. Behav Brain Sci 14:1–84Google Scholar
  11. Jensen AR (1987) Individual differences in the Hick paradigm. In PA Norwood, N.I. Speed of Information processing and intelligence. Norwood, Ablex N.Z.Google Scholar
  12. Jensen, AR, Munro E (1979) Reaction time, movement time and intelligence. Intelligence 3:121–126Google Scholar
  13. Jones GM, Sahakian BJ, Levy R, Warburton DM, Gray JA (1992) Effects of acute subcutaneous nicotine on attention, information processing and short-term memory in Alzheimer's disease. Psychopharmacology 108:485–494Google Scholar
  14. Knott VJ (1986) Tobacco effects on cortical evoked potentials to task stimuli. Addict Behav 11:219–223Google Scholar
  15. Longstreth LE (1984) Jensen's reaction-time investigations of intelligence: a critique. Intelligence 8:139–160Google Scholar
  16. Lubow RE (1989) Latent inhibition: data theory. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Näätänen R, Picton T (1987) The N1 wave of the human electric and magnetic response to sound: a review and an analysis of the component structure. Psychophysiology 24:375–425Google Scholar
  18. Nettelbeck T (1987) Inspection and intelligence In Vernon PA Ed Speed of information processing and intelligence. Ablex Norwood N.J. Ablex pp 294–346Google Scholar
  19. Nettelbeck T, Lally M (1976) Inspection time and measured intelligence. Br J Psychol 67:17–22Google Scholar
  20. Provost SC, Woodward R (1991) Effects of nicotine gum on repeated administration of the Stroop test. Psychopharmacology 104:536–540Google Scholar
  21. Roth E (1964) Die geschwindigkeit der verarbeitung von informationen und ihr zusammenhang mit intelligenz [speed of information processing and its relationship with intelligence]. Z Exp Angew Psychol 11:616–623Google Scholar
  22. Sherwood N, Kerr JS, Hindmarch I (1992) Psychomotor performance in smokers following single and repeated doses of nicotine gum. Special issue: nicotine. Psychopharmacology 108:432–436Google Scholar
  23. Smith DL, Tong JE, Leigh G (1977) Combined effects of tobacco and caffeine on the components of choice reaction-time, heart rate, and hand steadiness. Percept Mot Skills 45:635–639Google Scholar
  24. Stough C, Mangan GL, Bates TC, Pellet O (1994). Smoking and Raven IQ. Psychopharmacology 116:382–384Google Scholar
  25. Stough C, Bates T, Mangan GL, Pellett O (1995) Effects of nicotine on perceptual speed. Psychopharmacology (in press)Google Scholar
  26. Vanspaendonck KPM, Berger HJC, Horstink MWI, Buytenhuijs EL, Cools AR (1993) Impaired cognitive shifting in Parkinsonian patients on anticholinergic therapy. Neuropsychologia 31:407–411Google Scholar
  27. Warburton DM, Rusted JM (1993) Cholinergic control of cognitive resources. Neuropsychobiology 28:43–46Google Scholar
  28. Zhou LW, Zhang SP, Connell TA, Weiss B (1993) Cholinergic lesions of mouse striatum induced by AF64A alter D2 Dopaminergic behavior and reduce D2 dopamine receptors and D2 dopamine receptor messenger RNA. Neurochem Int 22:301–311Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Bates
    • 1
  • G. Mangan
    • 1
  • C. Stough
    • 1
  • P. Corballis
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychophysiology Laboratory, Department of PsychologyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations