Visuo-motor adaptation in smokeless tobacco users

Jose L. Contreras-Vidal, C. Elisa Van Den Heuvel, Hans Leo Teulings, George E. Stelmach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ten smokeless tobacco (ST) users and 11 non-smokers participated in a visuo-motor adaptation experiment in which the visual feedback of point-to-point horizontal arm movements, displayed in real-time on a computer screen, was rotated by 45° counterclockwise for some trials. Visuo-motor performance between smokers and non-smokers was compared on three occasions, once after at least 8 h of tobacco abstinence (Session 1), a second time following ST intake (Session 2), and a third time 45 min after the original ST intake (Session 3). Non-smokers were tested at the same relative times as the smokers in the absence of any tobacco. Both groups performed the three conditions during each session: baseline (normal visual feedback), rotated visual feedback (45° visual feedback rotation), and post-adaptation (normal visual feedback immediately following feedback rotation). Compared with non-smokers, ST users had significantly larger normalized jerk scores (a measure of movement smoothness) after ST intake during the adaptation and post-adaptation conditions in Sessions 2 and 3, but not during the baseline conditions, implying a differential effect of ST use specific to rotated visual feedback. Movement duration was also longer for smokers than for non-smokers after ST intake, but only in the post-adaptation condition. Overall the results suggest that ST use, and hence nicotine, has a detrimental effect on visuo-motor performance, particularly on movement smoothness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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