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Chronic cannabis use and ERP correlates of visual selective attention during the performance of a flanker go/nogo task


Nicholls, C and Bruno, R and Matthews, A, Chronic cannabis use and ERP correlates of visual selective attention during the performance of a flanker go/nogo task, Biological Psychology, 110 pp. 115-125. ISSN 0301-0511 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2015.07.013


The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between chronic cannabis use and visual selective attention by examining event-related potentials (ERPs) during the performance of a flanker go/nogo task. Male participants were 15 chronic cannabis users (minimum two years use, at least once per week) and 15 drug naive controls. Cannabis users showed longer reaction times compared to controls with equivalent accuracy. Cannabis users also showed a reduction in the N2 'nogo effect' at frontal sites, particularly for incongruent stimuli, and particularly in the right hemisphere. This suggests differences between chronic cannabis users and controls in terms of inhibitory processing within the executive control network, and may implicate the right inferior frontal cortex. There was also preliminary evidence for differences in early selective attention, with controls but not cannabis users showing modulation of N1 amplitude by flanker congruency. Further investigation is required to examine the potential reversibility of these residual effects after long-term abstinence and to examine the role of early selective attention mechanisms in more detail.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cannabis use, selective attention, ERPs, N1, N2, flanker, go/nogo
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Cognitive neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Nicholls, C (Ms Clare Nicholls)
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
UTAS Author:Matthews, A (Dr Allison Matthews)
ID Code:104036
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2015-11-02
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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