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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1998 May;63(5):571-9.

Effects of tobacco smoking and abstinence on middle latency auditory evoked potentials.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0632, USA.



To evaluate the effects of tobacco cigarette smoking and overnight abstinence on middle latency auditory evoked potentials among smokers and nonsmokers.


Groups of 9 to 10 adult male and female nonsmokers and smokers participated in the study. Each person volunteered for two laboratory sessions conducted in the early afternoon on 2 separate days. Smokers abstained from tobacco products 6 to 15 hours before the abstinent session and maintained their usual smoking behavior before the smoking session. The nonsmokers had a similar laboratory experience but sham smoked by means of inhaling air. Middle latency auditory evoked potentials were recorded from Cz to both ears as reference.


The latencies of the Na and Pa potentials during the smoking session were significantly (p < 0.01) shorter than those in abstinent smokers and nonsmokers. After smoking, peak-to-trough amplitudes for the V-Na, Na-Pa, and Pa-Nb potentials were larger than those after abstinence and significantly larger than those among nonsmokers.


The shorter latencies of the middle latency brain wave components in the smoking session suggest faster processing of sensory information after cigarette smoking. Larger Pa amplitudes after cigarette smoking suggest a higher arousal level than that among partially abstinent smokers and nonsmokers.

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