May 22, 2005

nicotine treatment enhances automatic auditory processing

A Research Study from the academic journal titled: Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior

Transdermal nicotine treatment enhances automatic auditory processing.

    "Mismatch negativity (MMN) is a component of event-related potentials (ERPs) with a wide-ranging applicability to the investigation of neuronal substrates of information processing in normal and psychopathological states," scientists in Japan explained.

    "Nicotine has been shown to be implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or Alzheimer disease, and has also been proposed as a self-administered drug in schizophrenia," noted R. Inami and colleagues at Juntendo Izunagaoka Hospital. They conducted a study "to elucidate the effect of nicotine on the auditory automatic processing reflected by MMN."

    "Nicotine was administered transdermally under controlled dosage," the investigators said. "Ten healthy volunteers attended the laboratory for one baseline session and two test sessions."

    "The test sessions involved administration of a placebo patch and a nicotine skin patch, which were counter-balanced," according to the report. "The ERPs were recorded passively during an auditory oddball paradigm."

    "Nicotine administration shortened the MMN latencies, and these effects were independent of the earlier ERP components, N100 and P200," test results revealed.

    Nicotine "enhances preattentive and automatic processing such as MMN system and these effects appear to be quite specific and independent of earlier cognitive stages than preattentive mismatch processing," the researchers concluded. "The shortened MMN latency may be interpreted as a reduction of the amount of time required to complete a neuronal mismatch process through the ascending auditory pathway."

Source: Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior (Transdermal nicotine administration enhances automatic auditory processing reflected by mismatch negativity. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 2005;80(3):453-461).


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