Effects of nicotine chewing gum on a real-life motor task: a kinematic analysis of handwriting movements in smokers and non-smokers
- 192 Downloads
In laboratory tasks nicotine has consistently been shown to improve psychomotor performance.
The aim of the present experiment was to assess the effects of nicotine on a skilled task of everyday life in smoking and non-smoking healthy adults.
Assessment of handwriting movements of 38 non-deprived smokers and 38 non-smokers was performed following the chewing of gum containing 0 mg, 2 mg or 4 mg of nicotine. A digitising tablet was used for the assessment of fine motor movements. Subjects were asked to perform a simple writing task. Movement time, velocity and acceleration of the handwriting movements were measured. Furthermore, every writing specimen was independently rated by two examiners regarding the quality of handwriting.
Kinematic analysis of writing movements revealed that nicotine could produce absolute improvements in handwriting. Following nicotine administration, reduced movement times, increased velocities and more fluent handwriting movements were observed. These improvements were more striking in smokers than in non-smokers. No effects of nicotine were found with regard to the quality of handwriting.
The results suggest that nicotine can enhance psychomotor performance to a significant degree in a real-life motor task.
KeywordsNicotine Human Handwriting Movement analysis Kinematic analysis
This study was supported by Pharmacia & Upjohn GmbH, Erlangen, Germany. The experiments of the present study comply with the current laws of Germany.
- Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences, 2nd edn. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.Google Scholar
- Feldman RS, Meyer JS, Quenzer LF (1997) Principles of neuropsychopharmacology. Sinauer Associates, SunderlandGoogle Scholar
- Ghatan PH, Ingvar M, Eriksson L, Stone ES, Serrander M, Ekberg K, Wahren J (1998) Cerebral effects of nicotine during cognition in smokers and non-smokers. Psychopharmacology 136:179–189Google Scholar
- Ghez C (1991) Voluntary movement. In: Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessel TM (eds) Principles of neural science. Elsevier Science Publishing, New York, pp 609–625Google Scholar
- Heishman SJ, Taylor RC, Henningfield JE (1994) Nicotine and smoking: a review of effects on human performance. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 2:345–395Google Scholar
- Houlihan ME, Pritchard WS, Robinson JH (1996) Faster P300 latency after smoking in visual but not auditory oddball tasks. Psychopharmacology 123:231–238Google Scholar
- Ishikawa A, Miyatake T (1991) Clinical features of autosomal recessive type juvenile parkinsonism and improvement of symptoms by smoking. In: Nagatsu T, Yoshida M (eds) Basic clinical and therapeutic aspects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Plenum Press, New York, pp 187–195Google Scholar
- LeHouezec J (1998) Nicotine: abused substance and therapeutic agent. J Psychiatr Neurosci 23:95–108Google Scholar
- London ED, Grant SJ, Morgan MJ, Zukin SR (1996) Neurobiology of drug abuse. In: Fogel BS, Schiffer RB, Rao JM (eds) Neuropsychiatry. Wiliam & Wilkins, Baltimore, pp 635–678Google Scholar
- Maarse FJ, Thomassen AJ (1983) Produced and perceived writing slant: difference between up and down strokes. Acta Psychol 54:131–147Google Scholar
- Mai N, Marquardt C (1992) CS—Computer-assisted movement analysis in handwriting. Operational manual. MedCom Verlag, MunichGoogle Scholar
- Mancuso G, Warburton DM, Mélen M, Sherwood N, Tirelli E (1999) Selective effects of nicotine on attentional processes. Psychopharmacology 146:199–204Google Scholar
- Näätänen R (1992) Attention and brain function. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.Google Scholar
- Perkins KA, Grobe JE, Mitchell SE, Goettler J, Caggiula A, Stiller RL, Scierka A (1995) Acute tolerance to nicotine in smokers: lack of dissipation within 2 hours. Psychophamacology 118:164–170Google Scholar
- Provost SC, Woodward R (1991) Effects of nicotine gum on repeated administration of the Stroop test. Psychophamacology 104:536–540Google Scholar
- Sherwood N (1993) Effects of nicotine on human psychomotor performance. Hum Psychopharmacol 8:155–184Google Scholar
- Sherwood N (1994) Cognitive and psychomotor effects of nicotine and cigarette smoking. In: Ogdon MW, Burton HR, Renfro LW (eds) Recent Advances in Tobacco Science 20:81–105Google Scholar
- Tucha O, Paul G, Lange KW (2001) The effect of conscious control on handwriting fluency of healthy adults and children. In: Meulenbroek RG, Steenbergen B (eds) Proceedings of the tenth biennial conference of the International Graphonomics Society. IGS, Nijmegen, pp 213–216Google Scholar
- Warburton DM (1989) The neuropsychopharmacology of smoking. Jpn J Psychopharmacol 9:245–256Google Scholar