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Psychopharmacology

, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 127–132 | Cite as

Effects of cotinine on information processing in nonsmokers

  • Karen E. Herzig
  • Enoch Callaway
  • R. Halliday
  • Hilary Naylor
  • Neal L. Benowitz
ORIGINAL INVESTIGATION

Abstract

 Cotinine, the major proximate metabolite of nicotine, is present in smokers in higher concentrations and for a longer time than nicotine, yet its effects on information processing have not previously been reported. We studied the cognitive effects of cotinine in non-smokers. Sixteen subjects were tested on three doses of cotinine (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mg cotinine base/kg), and placebo, on a choice reaction time (RT) task and on a verbal recall task with short and long lists. Cotinine significantly impaired recall on the long list and displayed non-significant but generally consistent dose-related slowing of RT and N100 latency. The acute effects of cotinine were small, and probably do not account for the cognitive deficits observed in tobacco withdrawal, although the cognitive effects of chronic cotinine administration need to be investigated.

Key words Cotinine Nicotine Human information processing Reaction time Event related potentials N100 latency P300 latency 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen E. Herzig
    • 1
  • Enoch Callaway
    • 1
  • R. Halliday
    • 1
  • Hilary Naylor
    • 1
  • Neal L. Benowitz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USAUS

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