Nicotine impairs spatial working memory while leaving spatial attention intact.

Park S, Knopick C, McGurk S, Meltzer HY
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2000 22 (2): 200-9

PMID: 10649832 · DOI:10.1016/S0893-133X(99)00098-6

We investigated the effects of nicotine on spatial working memory and spatial selective attention in young, healthy smokers. Spatial working memory was assessed by a delayed response task. Delayed response performance is associated with the integrity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Spatial interference and negative priming tasks were used to assess spatial selective attention. Nicotine impaired spatial working memory in smokers but it did not affect spatial selective attention. This result suggests that nicotine may impair dorsolateral prefrontal function, as assessed by the spatial working memory task in young smokers and that this deficit does not stem from impairments in spatial selective attention. However, the effects of nicotine on working memory and selective attention in nonsmokers or in psychiatric population with suspected nicotinic receptor abnormalities (e.g., schizophrenia patients) cannot be deduced from the present study.

MeSH Terms (8)

Adult Attention Humans Memory Nicotine Psychomotor Performance Smoking Space Perception

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