ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (6): 1031-1040.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01031

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Response Inhibition in Smokers

ZHAO Xin1; LIU Xiaoting1; ZAN Xiangyi2; ZHOU Aibao1   

  1. (1 Behavior Rehabilitation Training Research Institution, School of Psychology, Northwest Normal University,
    Lanzhou 730070, China) (2 Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Lanzhou 730070, China))
  • Received:2014-09-09 Online:2015-06-25 Published:2015-06-25
  • Contact: ZAN Xiangyi, E-mail:; ZHOU Aibao, E-mail:


Recent studies have found that smoking affects individual response inhibition ability. Compared with non-smokers, smokers have higher false rates and longer reaction times in the Go/No Go task and Stop signal task. Although smokers have deficits in early response inhibition, there is no difference between smokers and non-smokers in conflict monitoring. In addition, the study also found that smokers’ left thalamus, left middle frontal gyrus, and left anterior cingulate cortex have smaller grey areas than found in non-smokers. Nicotine intake harms the prefrontal cortex and mesolimbic dopamine system, which leads to lower response inhibition ability in smokers. However, some studies have found that smoking does not affect response inhibition ability; these contradictory results may be due to experimental tasks and subject selection. Future research will feature the reaction to individual inhibition in different types of cigarette deprivations, the comparisons of response inhibition between smokers and other addicts (alcohol, drugs), the variance in smokers' response inhibition ability in the oddball, Go/No Go, and the Stop-Signal tasks, and interventions and response inhibition training for smokers.

Key words: Smoking, Response inhibition, Nicotine