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A double-blind placebo controlled experimental study of nicotine: I - effects on incentive motivation

Dawkins, L; Powell, JH; West, R; Powell, J; Pickering, A; (2006) A double-blind placebo controlled experimental study of nicotine: I - effects on incentive motivation. PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY , 189 (3) 355 - 367. 10.1007/s00213-006-0588-8.

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Abstract

Rationale Brain reward pathways implicated in addiction appear to be less reactive in regular drug users; behavioural manifestations may include decreased sensitivity to natural reinforcers.Objectives This study aimed to replicate earlier findings of abstinence-associated incentive motivation deficits in smokers and to determine whether these can be reversed with nicotine in the form of lozenge.Methods One hundred forty-five smokers were each tested twice, once after receiving nicotine, and once after receiving placebo lozenge in counterbalanced order. Participants completed various tests of incentive motivational functioning: a measure of subjective enjoyment, the Snaith-Hamilton pleasure scale (SHAPS); a simple card sorting task, the card arranging reward responsivity objective test (CARROT) with and without financial incentive; the modified emotional Stroop test; a cue-reactivity task; and a novel reaction time task to explore effects of signals of reward, the incentive motivational enhancement of response speed task.Results Compared with performance during abstinence (placebo condition), nicotine was associated with: higher self-reported pleasure expectations on the SHAPS; enhanced responsiveness to financial reward on the CARROT in smokers who smoked 15 or more cigarettes a day; and greater interference from appetitive words on the Stroop task.Conclusions These results are generally consistent with contemporary neurobiological theories of addiction and suggest that short-term smoking abstinence is associated with impaired reward motivation which can be reversed with nicotine.

Type: Article
Title: A double-blind placebo controlled experimental study of nicotine: I - effects on incentive motivation
DOI: 10.1007/s00213-006-0588-8
Keywords: nicotine, abstinence, incentive motivation, dopamine, reward, lozenge, REWARD RESPONSIVENESS, SMOKING-CESSATION, BRAIN ACTIVATION, ATTENTIONAL BIAS, DRUG-ADDICTION, DOPAMINE, SMOKERS, NEUROBIOLOGY, ABSTINENCE, NONSMOKERS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3336
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