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Cigarette smoking and state-dependent memory


Two experiments were carried out to investigate whether cigarette smoking could produce state-dependent learning (SDL) in humans. The first experiment was concerned with the methodological issue of choosing an appropriate control cigarette for use in an SDL design. A low nicotine content (0.2 mg) cigarette was chosen as it did not appear to affect the physiological arousal of the subjects. In Experiment 2, it was shown that cigarette smoking can produce state-dependent memory effects. The most likely basis for the results is the arousal produced by the nicotine content of the cigarette.

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Peters, R., McGee, R. Cigarette smoking and state-dependent memory. Psychopharmacology 76, 232–235 (1982).

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Key words

  • State-dependent learning
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Nicotine
  • Arousal