Nicotine usage is associated with elevated processing speed, spatial working memory, and visual learning performance in youth at ultrahigh-risk for psychosis

Psychiatry Res. 2014 Dec 15;220(1-2):687-90. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.07.085. Epub 2014 Aug 13.


Research has stressed a link between nicotine and cognition in schizophrenia but this has not been examined in youth at ultrahigh-risk (UHR) for psychosis. A total of 35 UHR and 32 control participants were assessed for naturalistic nicotine-use and administered a cognitive battery. Smoking was reported more frequently in the UHR group (46%) than controls (22%). Frequent smoking was associated with elevated cognitive performance in the UHR group, highlighting a need for experimental investigations.

Keywords: Cognition; Nicotine; Prodrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / drug effects*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Risk
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Spatial Learning / drug effects
  • Spatial Memory / drug effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Nicotine