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We investigated the impact of the administration of a tyrosine-depleting amino acid mixture compared to a balanced mixture on measures of mood, craving and selective processing of smoking-related cues in healthy cigarette smokers instructed to abstain from smoking for 12 h prior to, and during, the experiment. A modified stroop task was used to index selective processing of smoking-related cues. We observed evidence for an increase in subjective craving among males, and an attenuation of the selective processing of smoking-related cues compared to control cues among females, in the tyrosine-depleting condition compared to the balanced condition. No effects of mixture were observed on measures of subjective mood. These results tentatively support for the role of dopaminergic neurotransmission in mediating the response of cigarette smokers to smoking-related cues. In addition, these results also provide further evidence for sex differences in the factors that maintain cigarette smoking, in particular with respect to conditioned reinforcement of smoking behaviour, and suggest that the relationship between subjective craving and selective processing of smoking-related cues may differ in males and females.

Original publication




Journal article


J Psychopharmacol

Publication Date





805 - 814


Adult, Cues, Dopamine, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Sex Characteristics, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Surveys and Questionnaires, Tyrosine