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Top-down and bottom-up attentional biases for smoking-related stimuli: Comparing dependent and non-dependent smokers

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-03-12, 10:01 authored by Thom WilcocksonThom Wilcockson, Emmanuel M Pothos, Ashley M Osborne, Trevor J Crawford
Introduction: Substance use causes attentional biases for substance-related stimuli. Both bottom-up (preferential processing) and top-down (inhibitory control) processes are involved in attentional biases. We explored these aspects of attentional bias by using dependent and non-dependent cigarette smokers in order to see whether these two groups would differ in terms of general inhibitory control, bottom-up attentional bias, and top-down attentional biases. This enables us to see whether consumption behaviour would affect these cognitive responses to smoking-related stimuli.
Methods: Smokers were categorised as either dependent (N = 26) or non-dependent (N = 34) smokers. A further group of non-smokers (N = 32) were recruited to act as controls. Participants then completed a behavioural inhibition task with general stimuli, a smoking-related eye tracking version of the dot-probe task, and an eyetracking inhibition task with smoking-related stimuli. Results:
Results indicated that dependent smokers had decreased inhibition and increased attentional bias for smoking-related stimuli (and not control stimuli). By contrast, a decreased inhibition for smoking-related stimuli (in comparison to control stimuli) was not observed for non-dependent smokers.
Conclusions: Preferential processing of substance-related stimuli may indicate usage of a substance, whereas poor inhibitory control for substance-related stimuli may only emerge if dependence develops. The results suggest that how people engage with substance abuse is important for top-down attentional biases.

Funding

EPSRC (EP/M006255/1)

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Addictive Behaviors

Volume

118

Publisher

Elsevier BV

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Addictive Behaviors and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.106886

Acceptance date

2021-02-21

Publication date

2021-03-04

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

0306-4603

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Thom Wilcockson. Deposit date: 11 March 2021

Article number

106886

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