Send to

Choose Destination
Psychol Addict Behav. 2005 Dec;19(4):433-8.

The effects of nicotine on attention and working memory in never-smokers.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.


The subjective and physiological effects of nicotine in nicotine-naive individuals are consistent across studies, though the cognitive effects are variable: Positive, negative, or no effects have been reported. Assessing specific cognitive processes (e.g., alerting, orienting, executive function, and phonological and visuospatial working memory) may help reduce this variability. This within-subject study (N = 20) was designed to assess the effect of nicotine gum (0, 2, or 4 mg) on subjective, physiological, and cognitive measures. Dose-dependent increases in dysphoria and heart rate were observed, though nicotine did not influence any aspect of attention or working memory. Future studies should take into account the difference in effect sizes for cognitive versus physiological/subjective measures and maximize power (e.g., increase sample size) accordingly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center