Cue reactivity to appetitive and aversive cues among female smokers and non-smokers
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This study examined the motivational state associated with smoking craving specifically among women and the effect of deprivation and smoking status on the relationship between responses to appetitive cues. Utilizing both psychophysiological (startle EMG, skin conductance) and self-report measures, we compared cue reactivity to positive, neutral, aversive, smoking, and chocolate pictures among groups of 10 hr. smoking deprived smokers, non-deprived smokers, and non-smokers. Smokers responded to smoking cues similar to pleasant affect cues with more inhibited startle and high arousal, while responses from non-smoking females indicated a neutral state. However, deprivation also significantly increased startle responses to smoking cues when compared to non-deprived smokers. Furthermore, a closer look at skin conductance responses to aversive cues suggest that smoking status (deprived and non-deprived groups) significantly inhibited one?s ability to habituate to negative affect stimuli. When responses to chocolate cues were examined, psychophysiological and self-report data seemed to indicate that smoking deprivation influenced one's ability to attend to other appetitive/rewarding cues. Implications of these results on female smoking craving and sensitivity to appetitive cues are discussed.