Quitting smoking is notoriously difficult. Models of nicotine dependence posit that strength of cognitive control contributes to maintaining smoking abstinence during smoking cessation attempts. We examine the role for large-scale functional brain systems associated with cognitive control in smoking lapse using a novel adaption of a well-validated behavioral paradigm. We use data from 17 daily smokers (five females) after 12 h of smoking abstinence. Participants completed up to 10 sequential 5-min functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) runs, within a single scanning session. After each run, participants decided whether to stay in the scanner in order to earn additional money or to terminate the session in order to smoke a cigarette (i.e., lapse) and forego additional monetary reward. Cox regression results indicate that decreased segregation of the default mode system from the frontoparietal system undermines the ability to resist smoking. This study demonstrates the feasibility of modifying an established behavioral model of smoking lapse behavior for use in the neuro imaging environment, and it provides initial evidence that this approach yields valuable information regarding fine-grained, time-varying changes in patterns of neural activity in the moments leading up to a decision to smoke. Specifically, results lend support to the hypothesis that the time-varying interplay between large-scale functional brain systems associated with cognitive control is implicated in smoking lapse behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health