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Aviat Space Environ Med. 1987 Aug;58(8):777-82.

Cigarette smoking, field-dependence and contrast sensitivity.


This study examined the separate and combined effects of cigarette smoking and field-dependence on contrast sensitivity. No previous research on these relationships exists; however, all three variables are known to be significantly related to many aspects of human performance. Under carefully controlled conditions, 12 smokers and 16 non-smokers were tested for field-dependence and measured for contrast sensitivity (Nicolet CS 2000 Testing System). No differences in contrast sensitivity of smokers were found when measured immediately after smoking 1 cigarette, as compared with having been deprived of smoking for at least 90 min. Habitual smoking and field-dependence were found to be separately and interactively related to contrast sensitivity. A field-independent non-smoker group performed significantly better than a field-dependent smoker group at all but the lowest spatial frequency. The results have important implications for many types of performance, particularly aircraft and motor vehicle operation, and may be valuable for use in selection and training.

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