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The effects of cigarette smoking on negative priming

By P Rodway, Zoltan Dienes and A Schepman


Nicotine administration has been found to enhance performance on tasks of selective attention. It has been proposed that efficient attentional filtering depends on the successful inhibition of distracting information. In the work reported here, a negative priming paradigm was adopted to test whether smoking enhanced the inhibition of irrelevant information. Thirty-six minimally deprived smokers, half of whom smoked and half of whom sham smoked, completed the negative priming task. A significantly larger negative priming effect was found in participants who had smoked in comparison with those who sham smoked. These results support the hypothesis that nicotine enhances the inhibition of distracting information and thus suggest a possible mechanism by which smoking may enhance selective attention

Year: 2000
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