Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 267–271 | Cite as

Effect of electro-acupuncture intervention on cognition attention bias in heroin addiction abstinence—A dot-probe-based event-related potential study

  • Ying-ping Jiang (姜迎萍)
  • Hao Liu (刘 浩)
  • Ping Xu (徐 平)
  • Yan Wang (王 岩)
  • Guang-hua Lu (陆光华)
Original Article



To study the changes of cognitive attention-related brain function in the heroin addicts before and after electro-acupuncture (EA) intervention for exploring the concerned neuro-mechanism of addictive relapse and the central action role of EA intervention.


Adopting event-related potential (ERP) technique, the ERP at 64 electrode spots in 10 heroin addicts (test group) were recorded before and after EA intervention with dot-probe experimental form during implementing cognitive task on positive emotional clue (PEC), negative emotional clues (NEC), and heroin-related clue (HRC). The P200 amplitude components on the selected observation points (Fz, Cz, and Pz) were analyzed and compared with those obtained from 10 healthy subjects as the control.


Before EA, the ERP of attention on HRC in the test group was higher than that on PEC and NEC (P<0.05) and significantly higher than that in the control group (P<0.05); after EA, the P200 amplitude of attention on HRC at Cz and Pz was significantly lowered (P<0.05) and that on PEC at Fz was significantly elevated (P<0.05). After EA, the P200 amplitude at Pz was ranked as NEC > PEC > HRC, but in the control group, it showed PEC > HRC at all three observation points and PEC > NEC at Pz.


Heroin addicts show attention bias to HRC, which could be significantly reduced by EA intervention, illustrating that EA could effectively inhibit the attention bias to heroin and so might have potential for lowering the relapse rate.


heroin abstinence electro-acupuncture event-related potential attention bias 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying-ping Jiang (姜迎萍)
    • 1
  • Hao Liu (刘 浩)
    • 1
  • Ping Xu (徐 平)
    • 2
  • Yan Wang (王 岩)
    • 3
  • Guang-hua Lu (陆光华)
    • 4
  1. 1.Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous RegionUrumchiChina
  2. 2.Acupuncture-Massage College of Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyHuadong Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Shanghai Voluntary Abstinence Medical Rehabilitation CenterShanghaiChina

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