Examining Behavioral and Neural Responses to Smoking Cues in the Context of the Strength Model of Self-Control

Open Access
Regan, Kathleen A
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Stephen Wilson, Thesis Supervisor
  • David A. Rosenbaum, Honors Advisor
  • smoking
  • addiction
  • self-control
  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • neuroimaging
This thesis was based on Baumeister and Muraven's "Strength Model of Self-Control", which proposed that self-regulation is like a depletable muscle. The analyses of data stemed from a study that examined behavioral and neurobiological responses in cigarette smokers who were provided with a cigarette and an opportunity to smoke following twelve hours of nicotine deprivation. Smokers with fatigued self-control resources had higher responses on a self-report measure of craving, as expected to fit with the self-control model. Fatigued participants were expected to show decreased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity as assessed through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The direction of the relationship was as expected, but no significant correlation was found. These results add to the existing body of knowledge in this area, and hopefully will guide the development of novel smoking cessation therapies.