Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2012, Article ID 265724, 6 pages
Research Article

Effects of Nicotine on Emotional Reactivity in PTSD and Non-PTSD Smokers: Results of a Pilot fMRI Study

1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27708, USA
2Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC 27708, USA
3VISN 6, Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), Durham, NC 27708, USA

Received 16 February 2012; Revised 23 March 2012; Accepted 9 April 2012

Academic Editor: Peter J. Winsauer

Copyright © 2012 Brett Froeliger et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is evidence that individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may smoke in part to regulate negative affect. This pilot fMRI study examined the effects of nicotine on emotional information processing in smokers with and without PTSD. Across groups, nicotine increased brain activation in response to fearful/angry faces (compared to neutral faces) in ventral caudate. Patch x Group interactions were observed in brain regions involved in emotional and facial feature processing. These preliminary findings suggest that nicotine differentially modulates negative information processing in PTSD and non-PTSD smokers.