Neural correlates of cue-reactivity as a predictor of smoking cessation treatment outcomes
Owens, Max Michael
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The cue-reactivity (CR) paradigm is a laboratory procedure that has been shown to induce craving by exposing smokers to cues associated with smoking. However, when measuring craving via self-report or physiological responding, its association with subsequent relapse is inconsistent. Recent studies using fMRI have found that the CR paradigm elicits consistent activation in a number of regions of the brain, including the ventral striatum, anterior cingulate cortex, and amygdala. In the current study, participants completed an fMRI CR paradigm prior to enrolling in a 9-week smoking cessation treatment program that included nicotine patch use and weekly individual therapy. Multiple regression analyses were conducted using a priori and functionally defined regions of interest. Results indicated that greater neural activation during smoking cues in the right ventral striatum, the amygdala, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, the medial frontal gyrus, and the left middle frontal gyrus was predictive of greater success in treatment.