Effects of cigarette smoking on EEG spectral-band power, dimensional complexity, and nonlinearity during reaction-time task performance

Psychophysiology. 1996 Nov;33(6):740-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1996.tb02370.x.


Electroencephalogram (EEG) and heart rate (HR) were recorded while individuals performed visual and auditory go/no-go reaction time (RT) tasks. Overnight-abstaining smokers smoked two types of cigarettes in a single morning session. The first type was smoked once and had a nicotine yield of 0.05 mg. Two cigarettes of the second type (1.1 mg) were smoked. Four recordings were made: presmoking, postsmoking 0.05 mg, and postsmoking each 1.1 mg. HR was increased only by the first 1.1-mg cigarette. Smoking both the 1.1-mg cigarettes decreased RT. Smoking the first 1.1-mg cigarette increased EEG power in the beta2 band. A flexible effect of smoking the first 1.1-mg cigarette on EEG dimensional complexity (DCx) was obtained at locus Cz. Specifically, DCx was (a) raised when the presmoking level was low, (b) not affected when the presmoking level was intermediate, and (c) lowered when the presmoking level was high. Surrogate-data testing indicated the presence of nonlinearity in the EEG data that was not affected by smoking. Decreased RT was associated with increased DCx in the visual task only.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Reaction Time / drug effects*
  • Smoking / physiopathology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis


  • Nicotine