Take it or leave it: prefrontal control in recreational cocaine users

Morein-Zamir, Sharon and Simon Jones, Peter and Bullmore, Edward T. and Robbins, Trevor W. and Ersche, Karen D. (2015) Take it or leave it: prefrontal control in recreational cocaine users. Translational Psychiatry, 5. e582. ISSN 2158-3188

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2015.80


Though stimulant drugs such as cocaine are considered highly addictive, some individuals report recreational use over long periods without developing dependence. Difficulties in response inhibition have been hypothesized to contribute to dependence, but previous studies investigating response inhibition in recreational cocaine users have reported conflicting results. Performance on a stop-signal task was examined in 24 recreational cocaine users and 32 healthy non-drug using control participants matched for age, gender and verbal intelligence during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. The two groups were further matched on traumatic childhood histories and the absence of family histories of addiction. Results revealed that recreational cocaine users did not significantly differ from controls on any index of task performance, including response execution and stop-signal reaction time, with the latter averaging 198 ms in both groups. Functional magnetic resonance imaging analyses indicated that, compared with controls, stopping in the recreational users was associated with increased activation in the pre-supplementary motor area but not the right inferior frontal cortex. Thus, findings imply intact response inhibition abilities in recreational cocaine users, though the distinct pattern of accompanying activation suggests increased recruitment of brain areas implicated in response inhibition. This increased recruitment could be attributed to compensatory mechanisms that enable preserved cognitive control in this group, possibly relating to their hypothetical resilience to stimulant drug dependence. Such overactivation, alternatively, may be attributable to prolonged cocaine use leading to neuroplastic adaptations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 08:59
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:01
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/579501

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