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Pitt study suggests craving hinders comprehension without your realizing it
Date:12/7/2009

Participants in the craving group had at least three times as many opportunities to catch themselves zoning outbut they did not. They were impaired in their ability to notice their own mind-wandering episodes.

"Researchers have known for a while that cigarette craving can interfere with our powers of concentration," Sayette said. "But, similar to what we found in a previous study about the impaired concentration of people who drank, this 'double whammy' (i.e., more zoneouts that take longer to recognize) may explain why craving often disrupts efforts to exercise self-controla process requiring the ability to become aware of your current state in order to regulate it."

This observationthat craving may impair sustained attention and reduce meta-awarenesscould be of interest to those who study workplace accidents, where smokers must refrain. It also offers a new way to examine factors that interfere with learning among college students who smoke and must abstain for extended periods during classes.


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Contact: Sharon Blake
blake@pitt.edu
412-624-4364
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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