Navigation Links
Smokers not very receptive to shocking images

The study, which was supported by the German Research Foundation, brought together scientists from the Universities of Bonn and Kln, as well as from the Charit in Berlin. 28 younger persons who had been smoking for quite a number of years and an equal number of non-smokers participated in this study. Each of the subjects was shown photos of happy, fearful and neutral faces while their brain activity was recorded. The researchers were particularly interested in the amygdala a structure the shape and size of an almond. "It is the brain's fear center," said Privatdozent Dr. Dr. med. Ren Hurlemann, Oberarzt at the Klinik und Poliklinik fr Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie des Universittsklinikums Bonn.

The amygdala was always active when the participants were shown fearful faces. "Initially, there were no differences visible between smokers and non-smokers," reported Dr. zgr Onur, the study's principal author and neurologist who used to work at the Universittsklinikum Bonn and is now employed by the Universittsklinikum Kln. "So, the processing of emotions in the brain worked in a similar manner in both groups." This was always the case when the addicted participants were allowed to smoke sufficiently. The study's subjects, who ranged in age up to their late twenties, consumed an average of 17 cigarettes a day, and had been doing so for nine years.

Lower amygdala activity after abstinence

However, when the smokers came off a 12-hour abstinence period, the picture changed. "After only a few hours of abstinence, the activity of the fear center was far lower, as compared to the earlier state," said Onur. "They simply were indifferent to images of fearful people."

This lack of fear is problematic. "The amygdala is prevented from performing its natural function," explained Hurlemann. "Fear is an archaic instinct that protects us from doing things that are dangerous." Smokers who have recently been abstinent do not show this natural response pattern they are not afraid of the consequences of smoking. "It seems that they are mentally caught up in their addiction, resulting in a lowered receptivity for fear-inducing stimuli," said Onur. "It seems that smokers need nicotine in order to maintain the normal function of their amygdala."

Hurlemann doubts that the shocking images of smokers' lungs and tumors on cigarette packs, which are in the works in the US and also under consideration in the EU, will have much effect on the majority of addicts. "In those who stop smoking, the activity of the fear center has been lowered so much that they are not very receptive to the scary photos," said Hurlemann.

Half of all smokers die early

"There are 1.2 billion smokers worldwide," said Hurlemann. "Statistically it can be assumed that about half of them will die early from consequences related to smoking." That is why it was important to ask how these people could be helped, he added. "Maybe we should invest more in therapy measures for smokers and into research to find the optimum smoking cessation methods for different types of patients?"

In non-smokers, however, the amygdala is active, which is why in his opinion, shocking images will be effective for them. "Those who do not smoke yet can probably be kept from smoking by such scare tactics," Dr. zgr Onur concurred.


Contact: Dr. Ren Hurlemann
University of Bonn

Related medicine news :

1. Nicotine replacement therapy is over-promoted since most ex-smokers quit unassisted
2. Genetic variant greatly increases lung cancer risk for light smokers
3. Longtime Smokers May Find Protection From Parkinsons
4. Blood Vessels Bounce Back Once Smokers Quit
5. Gene is linked to lung cancer development in never-smokers
6. Gene Linked to Lung Cancer Risk in Non-Smokers
7. Movies Trigger Young Adult Smokers to Light Up
8. Researchers discover new approach for identifying smokers at highest risk for developing lung cancer
9. Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
10. Alcohol consumption may protect against risk of AD, particularly in female nonsmokers
11. Women Smokers Targeted on World No Tobacco Day
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The moment you stop improving ... only fulfilling the needs of advisers and clients but going above and beyond ... top-tier customer service. However, there's always room for improvement, which is why the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Avid collector, Andrew Hawley from Vintage Rock Posters, ... posters. This is one of Joplin's most famous and beautiful concert posters. The concert ... Michigan in Ann Arbor. The According to Hawley, "It is hard to believe that ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today that he ... now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive pricing on ... as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted fares, travel ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings Final ... ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with 30 all-new vintage-inspired designs, ... giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs quickly and easily, all ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... The holiday season is jam-packed with family dinners, parties ... is of the utmost importance. Whether you are cooking at home for the ... try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes ,     Ingredients: , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26 november 2015 AAIPharma Services ... geplande investering aan van ten minste $15,8 ... en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en extra capaciteit ... groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische en biotechnologische ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 3D bioprinting market is expected to reach ... by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic diseases ... is expected to boost the market growth, as 3D bioprinting ... --> 3D bioprinting market is expected to reach ... by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic diseases ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... --> ... att använda SyMRI för att hitta optimal ... med multipel skleros (MS) eller hjärntumörmetastaser och ... för att kunna använda SyMRI Research Edition ... kan man generera flera konstrastbilder från en ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: