Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Drake, Chad

Second Advisor

Gilbert, David


Bupropion, an atypical antidepressant medication, is a well-documented efficacious smoking cessation aide, but little is known about the brain areas that are affected when smokers quit with and without use of bupropion. Findings indicate that nicotine withdrawal is associated with reductions in executive control, which influence the subjective experience of nicotine withdrawal and the likelihood of maintaining successful smoking abstinence. Electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings can help measure cortical activation in the frontal lobe by measuring contingent negative variation (CNV), a slow negative EEG wave that occurs when individuals are anticipating an upcoming stimulus. In order to better understand the effects of bupropion on frontal lobe activity during nicotine abstinence, the current study utilized EEG recordings to identify topographic and Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography Analysis (LORETA)-assessed tomographic CNV differences in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) among individuals who were randomly assigned to one of four groups: bupropion, nicotine patch (nicotine replacement therapy; NRT), a placebo patch and placebo pill during smoking cessation, or a delayed-quit control group. Bupropion was found to increase topographical CNV relative to NRT, while NRT produced higher activation sub-regions of the ACC (dACC and BA25). These findings suggest that bupropion and nicotine act on different, and potentially complimentary, cortical regions to help aid in nicotine cessation.




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