Revealing Dissociable Attention Biases in Chronic Smokers Through an Individual-Differences Approach
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Watanabe, S., Iimori, M., Chan, D. V., Hara, E., Kitao, H., & Maehara, Y. (2018). MDC1 methylation mediated by lysine methyltransferases EHMT1 and EHMT2 regulates active ATM accumulation flanking DNA damage sites. Scientific reports, 8(1), 1-10.
SponsorshipThis study was supported by funding provided by the University of Verona to CDL, CC and LC
Addiction is accompanied by attentional biases (AB), wherein drug-related cues grab attention independently of their perceptual salience. AB have emerged in different flavours depending on the experimental approach, and their clinical relevance is still debated. In chronic smokers we sought evidence for dissociable attention abnormalities that may play distinct roles in the clinical manifestations of the disorder. Fifty smokers performed a modified visual probe-task measuring two forms of AB and their temporal dynamics, and data on their personality traits and smoking history/ status were collected. Two fully dissociable AB effects were found: A Global effect, reflecting the overall impact of smoke cues on attention, and a Location-specific effect, indexing the impact of smoke cues on visuospatial orienting. Importantly, the two effects could be neatly separated from one another as they: (i) unfolded with dissimilar temporal dynamics, (ii) were accounted for by different sets of predictors associated with personality traits and smoking history and (iii) were not correlated with one another. Importantly, the relevance of each of these two components in the single individual depends on a complex blend of personality traits and smoking habits, a result that future efforts addressing the clinical relevance of addiction-related AB should take into careful consideration.