JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cognitive impulsivity in cocaine and heroin polysubstance abusers

Antonio J Verdejo-García, José C Perales, Miguel Pérez-García
Addictive Behaviors 2007, 32 (5): 950-66
16876962

RATIONALE: Chronic abuse of psychoactive substances produces significant deficits in executive control functions (ECF). These deficits are prominent in different domains associated with cognitive impulsivity, including response inhibition and decision-making. The extent and nature of these deficits may depend on the principal substance of abuse.

OBJECTIVES: To analyse response inhibition and decision-making performance in abstinent polysubstance abusers (PSA) of cocaine and heroin, and healthy participants.

METHODS: We used univariate and multivariate analyses of variance to compare the performances of cocaine and heroin PSA and healthy controls on several well-validated measures of response inhibition (Stroop, 5-Digit Test and Go/No Go Task) and decision-making (Iowa Gambling Task). Post-hoc exploratory analyses of the results from the Go/No Go task were conducted to examine specific effects of task switching on the pattern of omission/commission errors in the PSA groups.

RESULTS: Cocaine but not heroin PSA showed significant deficits on several measures of response inhibition, when compared to controls. Reversal of task contingencies in the Go/No Go task primarily altered the commission error rate in cocaine PSA, and the omission error rate in heroin PSA. In contrast, both cocaine and heroin PSA showed poorer performance on decision-making compared to controls.

CONCLUSIONS: Assuming the relevance of polysubstance involvement, cocaine abuse seems to differentially correlate with motor impulsivity skills, while both substances seem to be equally linked to the inability to decide advantageously in complex decision-making tasks. Possible discrepancies in the neurological and psychological effects of these drugs are discussed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
16876962
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"