Nicotine Enhances Automatic Temporal Processing

Nicotine enhances automatic temporal processing as measured by the mismatch negativity waveform

A little bit of an advanced read again, but very interesting nonetheless. “Abstract Introduction: Cholinergic agonists and, more specifically, nicotine, have been found to enhance a number of cognitive processes. The effect of nicotine on temporal processing is not known. The use of behavioral measures of temporal processing to measure its effect could be confounded by the general effects of nicotine on attention. Mismatch negativity (MMN) has been used as a physiological measure of automatic temporal processing to avoid this potential confound.” Conclusion and discussion: “This study is the fi rst to demonstrate a nicotine-related effect of an interstimulus interval duration deviant on MMN amplitude. Given the evidence that increases in MMN amplitude are associated with better discrimination ( Davalos et al., 2005 ; Kisley et al., 2004 ), our hypothesis that nicotine enhances preattentive temporal processing is confi rmed. This enhancement was not related merely to more effi cient information processing or attentional mechanisms, given that there was no effect on MMN latency or N100 processing. Our fi nding extends the work of Baldeweg et al. (2006) , who demonstrated an increase in MMN amplitude in response to nicotine using an auditory tone duration deviant to a temporal deviant (interstimulus interval duration) independent of auditory tone characteristics.”

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