GesundEuropan Campus Rottal-Inn
Anna-Maria Kasparbauer, N. Petrovsky, P.-M. Schmidt, P. Trautner, B. Weber, B. Sträter, U. Ettinger
Effects of Nicotine and Atomoxetine on Brain Function During Response Inhibition
European Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 29, no. 2 (February), pp. 235-246
The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist nicotine and the noradrenaline transporter inhibitor atomoxetine are widely studied substances due to their propensity to alleviate cognitive deficits in psychiatric and neurological patients and their beneficial effects on some aspects of cognitive functions in healthy individuals. However, despite growing evidence of acetylcholine-noradrenaline interactions, there are only very few direct comparisons of the two substances. Here, we investigated the effects of nicotine and atomoxetine on response inhibition in the stop-signal task and we characterised the neural correlates of these effects using blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3T. Nicotine (7 mg dermal patch) and atomoxetine (60 mg per os) were applied to N = 26 young, healthy adults in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over, within-subjects design. BOLD images were collected during a stop-signal task that controlled for infrequency of stop trials. There were no drug effects on behavioural performance or subjective state measures. However, there was a pronounced upregulation of activation in bilateral prefrontal and left parietal cortex following nicotine during successful compared to unsuccessful stop trials. The effect of nicotine on BOLD during failed stop trials was correlated across individuals with a measure of trait impulsivity. Atomoxetine, however, had no discernible effects on BOLD. We conclude that nicotine effects on brain function during inhibitory control are most pronounced in individuals with higher levels of impulsivity. This finding is compatible with previous evidence of nicotine effects on stop-signal task performance in highly impulsive individuals and implicates the nAChR in the neural basis of impulsivity.
GesundEuropan Campus Rottal-Inn
U. Ettinger, E. Faiola, Anna-Maria Kasparbauer, N. Petrovsky, Chan, R. C. K., R. Liepelt, V. Kumari
Effects of nicotine on response inhibition and interference control
Psychopharmacology, vol. 234, pp. 1093-1111
Nicotine is a cholinergic agonist with known pro-cognitive effects in the domains of alerting and orienting attention. However, its effects on attentional top-down functions such as response inhibition and interference control are less well characterised. Here, we investigated the effects of 7 mg transdermal nicotine on performance on a battery of response inhibition and interference control tasks. A sample of N = 44 healthy adult non-smokers performed antisaccade, stop signal, Stroop, go/no-go, flanker, shape matching and Simon tasks, as well as the attentional network test (ANT) and a continuous performance task (CPT). Nicotine was administered in a within-subjects, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, with order of drug administration counterbalanced. Relative to placebo, nicotine led to significantly shorter reaction times on a prosaccade task and on CPT hits but did not significantly improve inhibitory or interference control performance on any task. Instead, nicotine had a negative influence in increasing the interference effect on the Simon task. Nicotine did not alter inter-individual associations between reaction times on congruent trials and error rates on incongruent trials on any task. Finally, there were effects involving order of drug administration, suggesting practice effects but also beneficial nicotine effects when the compound was administered first. Overall, our findings support previous studies showing positive effects of nicotine on basic attentional functions but do not provide direct evidence for an improvement of top-down cognitive control through acute administration of nicotine at this dose in healthy non-smokers.