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Electrophysiological Evidence of Atypical Processing Underlying Mental Set Shifting in Ecstasy Polydrug and Polydrug Users

Roberts, CA, Fairclough, SH, McGlone, FP, Fisk, JE and Montgomery, C (2013) Electrophysiological Evidence of Atypical Processing Underlying Mental Set Shifting in Ecstasy Polydrug and Polydrug Users. EXPERIMENTAL AND CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, 21 (6). pp. 507-515. ISSN 1064-1297

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Executive functioning deficits are reported in ecstasy users. However research into mental set switching has been equivocal, with behavioural studies suggesting the function is preserved. The current study sought to address the issue of switching deficits in ecstasy users by combining behavioural performance with electrophysiological correlates (EEG). Twenty ecstasy polydrug users, 20 non-ecstasy polydrug users and 20 drug naive controls were
recruited. Participants completed questionnaires about their drug use, sleep quality, fluid intelligence and current mood state. Each participant completed a mental set switching task (the number-letter task) whilst EEG measures were recorded. ANOVA revealed no between group differences on performance of the task, however a regression suggested that ecstasy use was a significant predictor for performance, after controlling for cannabis use. Mixed
ANOVA revealed a significant effect of group on the P3, with significant differences between both drug groups and naives. There was also an interaction between electrode and
group on the P2 component, with ecstasy users differing from both other groups. On the P3 component the results suggest a reduction in positivity at parieto-occipital electrodes for drug users compared to controls. Furthermore a significant increase in negativity in ecstasy users compared to control groups could be observed in several occipito-parietal electrodes at an N2 component as well as observable atypicalities in early processing (P2) displayed by ecstasy users and polydrug controls. The present study provides evidence of atypical processing of attentional shifting in ecstasy and polydrug users. Deficits in this executive function could reflect cognitive inflexibility and paucity of rapid behavioural adjustment, which may be
problematic in real world situations.

Keywords: Ecstasy; cannabis; executive function; stimulants; cannabis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1701 Psychology, 1115 Pharmacology And Pharmaceutical Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2015 09:51
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 14:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1037/a0034002
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/879
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