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Open AccessArticle

Frontal Alpha Asymmetry and Inhibitory Control among Individuals with Cannabis Use Disorders

1
Pace University, Department of Mental Health Counseling and Psychology, 861 Bedford Road, Marks 22, Pleasantville, NY 10570, USA
2
Rutgers University, Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, 607 Allison Road, Smithers Hall, 222, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
3
The City College of New York, CUNY, Department of Psychology, 160 Convent Avenue, NAC 7120, New York, NY 10031, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(9), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9090219
Received: 29 June 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 29 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabis: Neuropsychiatry and Its Effects on Brain and Behavior)
To better understand the biopsychosocial mechanisms associated with development and maintenance of cannabis use disorder (CUD), we examined frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA) as a measure of approach bias and inhibitory control in cannabis users versus healthy nonusers. We investigated: (1) whether FAA could distinguish cannabis users from healthy controls; (2) whether there are cue-specific FAA effects in cannabis users versus controls; and (3) the time course of cue-specific approach motivation and inhibitory control processes. EEG data were analyzed from forty participants (CUD (n = 20) and controls (n = 20)) who completed a modified visual attention task. Results showed controls exhibited greater relative right hemisphere activation (indicating avoidance/withdrawal motivation) when exposed to cannabis cues during the filtering task. By contrast, cannabis users exhibited greater relative left activation (approach) to all cues (cannabis, positive, negative, and neutral), reflecting a generalized approach motivational tendency, particularly during later stages of inhibitory control processes. The difference between cannabis users and controls in FAA was largest during mid- to late processing stages of all cues, indicating greater approach motivation during later stages of information processing among cannabis users. Findings suggest FAA may distinguish cannabis users from healthy controls and shows promise as a measure of inhibitory control processes in cannabis users. View Full-Text
Keywords: cannabis use disorder; cue reactivity; craving; inhibitory control; frontal alpha asymmetry; EEG; cannabinoids cannabis use disorder; cue reactivity; craving; inhibitory control; frontal alpha asymmetry; EEG; cannabinoids
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Shevorykin, A.; Ruglass, L.M.; Melara, R.D. Frontal Alpha Asymmetry and Inhibitory Control among Individuals with Cannabis Use Disorders. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 219.

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