Despite its importance in everyday life, prospective memory (PM) has been understudied compared with traditional (i.e., retrospective) memory research. Even less is known about potential drug effects on PM. The current study addressed this gap by examining the effects of nicotine abstinence as well as possible mediating variables, including sustained attention (SA) and working memory (WM), on PM performance in a group of 45 college-student smokers. Participants were tested over the course of 3 days using a within-subjects design: Day 1 was used for task familiarization and practice; Days 2 and 3 included tests of SA, lexical decision, WM, and PM. The presence or absence of 8-hour cigarette abstinence was the main independent variable, which was counterbalanced across participants on Days 2 and 3. The main hypothesis was that participants would demonstrate slower and less accurate performance on the SA, WM, and PM tasks when they were abstinent than when they were non-abstinent from smoking. In addition, it was hypothesized that SA and WM would partially mediate the effect of abstinence on PM. Contrary to expectations, nicotine abstinence did not impair performance on any of the measures except speed of lexical decision-making. Results also show that accuracy in lexical decision predicted accuracy in PM. Ultimately, better understanding of the cognitive effects of cigarette abstinence may help explain the power of nicotine addiction.
|Advisor:||Kelemen, William L.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 48/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychobiology, Experimental psychology, Cognitive psychology, Physiological psychology|
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