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Elife. 2019 Jan 8;8. pii: e40765. doi: 10.7554/eLife.40765.

Decreased brain connectivity in smoking contrasts with increased connectivity in drinking.

Author information

Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Key Laboratory of Computational Neuroscience and Brain-Inspired Intelligence (Fudan University), Ministry of Education, Shanghai, China.
Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.
Oxford Centre for Computational Neuroscience, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
School of Computer Science and Technology, Xidian University, Xi'an, China.
School of Mathematics, Shanghai University Finance and Economics, Shanghai, China.
Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Centre for Population Neuroscience and Stratified Medicine (PONS) and MRC-SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Vermont, United States.
Department of Psychiatry Psychology, University of Vermont, Vermont, United States.
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, INSERM Unit 1000 'Neuroimaging & Psychiatry', University Paris Sud - Paris Saclay, University Paris Descartes, Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot and GH Nord Essonne Psychiatry Department 91G16, Orsay, France.
NeuroSpin CEA, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
Key Laboratory for Neuroinformation of the Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology, Center for Information in Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China.
School of Mathematical Sciences and Centre for Computational Systems Biology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Contributed equally


In a group of 831 participants from the general population in the Human Connectome Project, smokers exhibited low overall functional connectivity, and more specifically of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex which is associated with non-reward mechanisms, the adjacent inferior frontal gyrus, and the precuneus. Participants who drank a high amount had overall increases in resting state functional connectivity, and specific increases in reward-related systems including the medial orbitofrontal cortex and the cingulate cortex. Increased impulsivity was found in smokers, associated with decreased functional connectivity of the non-reward-related lateral orbitofrontal cortex; and increased impulsivity was found in high amount drinkers, associated with increased functional connectivity of the reward-related medial orbitofrontal cortex. The main findings were cross-validated in an independent longitudinal dataset with 1176 participants, IMAGEN. Further, the functional connectivities in 14-year-old non-smokers (and also in female low-drinkers) were related to who would smoke or drink at age 19. An implication is that these differences in brain functional connectivities play a role in smoking and drinking, together with other factors.


addiction; drinking; functional connectivity; human; impulsivity; neuroscience; orbitofrontal cortex; smoking

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