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Study Finds Some People Are Unable To Stop Smoking Due To Their Brain Activity

Date: 16th June 2014

US researchers have carried out a study and found that some people are not able to quit smoking because their brains are not capable of recording the advantages of quit smoking. During the study, researchers have found out that just by analyzing the brain activity, they can foretell the level to which a reward-based quitting strategy would prove to be effective in a particular smoker.

The researchers undertook the study by carefully monitoring the brains of nicotine-deprived smokers with the help of MRI scans. The researchers initiated the study by enrolling 44 smokers and examining their brain reward centre responses to monetary reward in those who were looking forward to smoke and those who were not and the successive keenness of the smokers to give up a cigarette in an attempt to earn more money. The smokers, who took part in the study, were aged within 18 and 45 years and all of them revealed that they had smoked minimum 10 cigarettes per day for the last 12 years.

The smokers were also told not to smoke and to abstain from using products having nicotine for 12 hours before taking part in the study. Also, each and every smoker participating in the experiment had spent time in an fMRI scanner while they were playing a card-guessing game having the probability of winning money.

However, as the experiment drew to a close, Dr Stephen Wilson, assistant professor of psychology, at Penn State University, in Pennsylvania and his colleagues discovered that smokers who couldn`t abstain from smoking also exhibited weaker responses in the reward centres of their brains when they were offered monetary benefits while they were in the fMRI.


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