Tobacco and Evoked Potential

Science  13 Apr 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4082, pp. 212-214
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4082.212


Significant changes were found in two indices of the averaged visual evoked potentials in nine smokers after 12 and 36 hours of abstinence and after resumption of smoking. There was a decrease of the amplitude envelope accompanying withdrawal and an increase with resumption of smoking. These changes are consistent with the contention that tobacco increases arousal. Amplitude changes were found in a specific component of the evoked potential occurring between 100 and 125 milliseconds after the onset of the flash. The latter changes suggest the possibility that smoking selectively enhances the perceptiont of weak stimuli.