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Impulsivity and Attentional Bias to Smoking Cues in Non, Light and Heavy Smokers

Fisher, Katie (2011) Impulsivity and Attentional Bias to Smoking Cues in Non, Light and Heavy Smokers. Leeds Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Impulsivity is a multidimensional construct that has been implicated in the initiation, maintenance and relapse of nicotine addiction. However, the mechanism by which impulsivity operates in the addiction process is not yet fully understood. One possible explanation is that it functions with other characteristic factors of addiction such as response to drug cues. The current study explores trait impulsivity, delayed gratification and disinhibition across non, light and heavy smokers and attempts to ascertain an interaction with attentional bias to drug related stimuli assessed with the visual dot-probe paradigm. Significant differences across the smoking groups were established for the trait impulsivity BIS-11 subscales and sensitivity to delay gratification, suggesting smokers to be more impulsive than non-smokers. The disinhibition go/no-go task suggested light smokers to have the greatest state motor impulsivity. A significant interaction was not demonstrated between smoking status and response to smoking stimuli on the dot-probe task. However, scores for the delayed gratification and trait motor impulsivity were shown to correlate with attentional bias, to suggest these measures of impulsivity may be related to responsiveness to smoking cues. The discussion considers how the significant results are suggestive of an interplay between impulsivity and attentional bias in the addiction process and how such findings could benefit smoking cessation treatment programmes.

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