One line of cocaine is, thus, now as cheap as a tablet of ecstasy. This means cocaine is no longer considered an “elite” drug but is affordable for all, especially for recreational use. It is therefore likely that the recreational use of cocaine will become a public health issue in the next few years, which is already the case for the recreational use of ecstasy.
In a study published November 7 in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, researchers at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam, led by Lorenza Colzato, employed the “stop-signal paradigm” to measure the length of time taken by subjects to initiate and suppress a prepared reaction.
The stop-signal task requires participants to react quickly and accurately by pressing a left or right key in response to the direction of a left- or right-pointing green arrow. In 30% of the trials, the green arrow turned red, in which case participants had to abort the go response. The results show that while both recreational users of cocaine and non-users performed similarly in terms of response initiation, users needed significantly more time to inhibit their responses.
The study is the first of its kind to investigate systematically action control, and the inhibitory control of unwanted response tendencies in particular, in recreational users, i.e. those who don’t meet the criteria for abuse or dependency but who take cocaine (usually by snorting) on a monthly basis (1 to 4 grams). The researchers found that the magnitude of the inhibitory deficit in recreational users was smaller than previously observed in chronic users, suggesting that the degree of the impairment is proportional to the level of cocaine use.
Given the seemingly small quantities of cocaine involved, the findings of this study are rather worrying. Many real-life situations require the active inhibition of pre-potent actions, as in the case of traffic lights turning red or of criminal actions. This impairment of inhibitory control has serious implications for personal or societal functioning. This reduced level of inhibitory control may even be involved in the emergence of addiction: the more a drug is used, the less able users are to prevent themselves from using it.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology