Automatized smoking-related action schemata are reflected by reduced fMRI activity in sensorimotor brain regions of smokers

  • In the later stages of addiction, automatized processes play a prominent role in guiding drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior. However, little is known about the neural correlates of automatized drug-taking skills and drug-related action knowledge in humans. We employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while smokers and non-smokers performed an orientation affordance task, where compatibility between the hand used for a behavioral response and the spatial orientation of a priming stimulus leads to shorter reaction times resulting from activation of the corresponding motor representations. While non-smokers exhibited this behavioral effect only for control objects, smokers showed the affordance effect for both control and smoking-related objects. Furthermore, smokers exhibited reduced fMRI activation for smoking-related as compared to control objects for compatible stimulus-response pairings in a sensorimotor brain network consisting of the right primary motor cortex, supplementary motor area, middle occipital gyrus, left fusiform gyrus and bilateral cingulate gyrus. In the incompatible condition, we found higher fMRI activation in smokers for smoking-related as compared to control objects in the right primary motor cortex, cingulate gyrus, and left fusiform gyrus. This suggests that the activation and performance of deeply embedded, automatized drug-taking schemata employ less brain resources. This might reduce the threshold for relapsing in individuals trying to abstain from smoking. In contrast, the interruption or modification of already triggered automatized action representations require increased neural resources.
Author:Ayse Ilkay Isik, Marcus Johannes Naumer, Jochen KaiserORCiDGND, Christian Buschenlange, Sandro Wiesmann, Stefan Czoschke, Yavor Yalachkov
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):NeuroImage: Clinical
Place of publication:[Amsterdam u. a.]
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Date of first Publication:2017/06/17
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/03/05
Page Number:8
First Page:753
Last Page:760
Under a Creative Commons license
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Medizin / Medizin
Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / MPI für empirische Ästhetik
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 4.0