Eyespy: March 2012
Bringing you the quirkiest medical stories from around the world
Salivating smokers—Smokers are known to feel cravings if they see images associated with smoking. A prospective cohort study has now shown that they can be trained to feel cravings after being shown a stimulus unrelated to smoking, known as second order classical conditioning (BMC Neuroscience 2012;13:8, doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-8). Thirty smokers and 31 non-smokers were shown smoking and non-smoking related images, which were paired with a neutral shape, such as a cube or pyramid. The smokers, when later shown the neutral shapes paired with smoking images, exhibited high levels of brainwaves responsible for attention, and described feelings of pleasure and craving. These effects were not seen with the other neutral shapes. These preliminary results could shed light on the mechanisms of addiction and relapse.
Walk this way—Vehicle incidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones have tripled over the past six years. A study team searched injury databases and news records for reports in