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A cognitive model-based approach to testing mechanistic explanations for neuropsychological decrements during tobacco abstinence

Weigard, A, Huang-Pollock, C, Heathcote, A ORCID: 0000-0003-4324-5537, Hawk, L and Schlienz, NJ 2018 , 'A cognitive model-based approach to testing mechanistic explanations for neuropsychological decrements during tobacco abstinence' , Psychopharmacology , doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-5008-3.

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Abstract

Rationale: Cigarette smokers often experience cognitive decrements during abstinence from tobacco, and these decrements mayhave clinical relevance in the context of smoking cessation interventions. However, limitations of the behavioral summary statisticsused to measure cognitive effects of abstinence, response times (RT) and accuracy rates, may restrict the field’s ability to identifyrobust abstinence effects on task performance and test mechanistic hypotheses about the etiology of these cognitive changes.Objectives: The current study explored whether a measurement approach based on mathematical models of cognition, whichmake the cognitive mechanisms necessary to perform choice RT tasks explicit, would be able to address these limitations.Methods: The linear ballistic accumulator model (LBA: Brown and Heathcote, Cogn Psychol 57(3):153-178, 2008) was fit to anexisting data set from a study that evaluated the impact of overnight abstinence on flanker task performance.Results: The model-based analysis provided evidence that smokers’ rates of mind wandering increased during abstinence, andwas able to index this effect while controlling for participants’ strategy changes that were related to the specific experimentalparadigm used.Conclusion: Mind wandering is a putative explanation for cognitive withdrawal symptoms during smoking cessation and may beindexed using the LBA. More broadly, the use of formal model-based analyses in future research on this topic has the potential toallow for strong and specific tests of mechanistic explanations for these symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Weigard, A and Huang-Pollock, C and Heathcote, A and Hawk, L and Schlienz, NJ
Keywords: smoking, tobacco withdrawal, cognitive modeling, bayesian models, response times
Journal or Publication Title: Psychopharmacology
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
ISSN: 0033-3158
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s00213-018-5008-3
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

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