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. 2011 Mar;37(2):117-22.
doi: 10.3109/00952990.2010.543204. Epub 2011 Jan 5.

Relationship Between Attentional Bias to Cocaine-Related Stimuli and Impulsivity in Cocaine-Dependent Subjects

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Free PMC article

Relationship Between Attentional Bias to Cocaine-Related Stimuli and Impulsivity in Cocaine-Dependent Subjects

Shijing Liu et al. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Cocaine-dependent subjects show attentional bias to cocaine-related stimuli, increased impulsivity on questionnaires, and impaired inhibitory control (one component of impulsivity on behavioral tasks). However, the relationship between attentional bias, impulsivity, and inhibitory control in cocaine-dependent subjects is unknown.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between attentional bias to cocaine-related stimuli, impulsivity, and inhibitory control in cocaine dependence.

Methods: This study employed the cocaine Stroop task to measure attentional bias to cocaine-related stimuli, immediate memory task (IMT) to measure inhibitory control, and Barratt Impulsiveness Scale version 11 to measure impulsivity. Thirty-two controls and 37 cocaine-dependent subjects were recruited through newspaper advertisement.

Results: Cocaine-dependent subjects had higher attentional bias to cocaine-related words, higher scores for Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and higher commission error rate on the IMT than controls. The attentional bias was positively correlated with the commission error rate on the IMT in the cocaine-dependent subjects but not in control subjects.

Conclusions: Cocaine-dependent subjects showed attentional bias to cocaine-related words, increased impulsivity, and poor inhibitory control compared with controls. The attentional bias was associated with inhibitory control in cocaine-dependent subjects but not in control subjects.

Scientific significance: Our findings suggest that cocaine-dependent subjects with poor inhibitory control may show higher attentional bias to cocaine-related words compared with controls and those with better inhibitory control.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
An attentional bias to cocaine-related words in cocaine-dependent subjects. A. Attentional bias was expressed as the difference of reaction times (cocaine-related words – neutral words, mean±SEM); * p < 0.05, vs. control subjects, Analysis of Covariance with age and gender as covariates. B. Difference of Accuracy Change by cocaine-related words (cocaine-related words – neutral words, mean±SEM) between two groups was not significant; p > 0.05, Analysis of Covariance with age and gender as covariates.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Significant correlation between attentional bias to cocaine-related words and IMT commission error rate in cocaine-dependent subjects but not in control subjects. In cocaine-dependent subjects, r = 0.33, p = 0.04 for Pearson’s Correlation analysis.

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