Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Substance Abuse May Curb Body's Stress Reactions

Date:
February 25, 1999
Source:
Center For The Advancement Of Health
Summary:
Teenage substance abusers display a characteristic pattern of heart rate and other physiological changes in response to loud noise, offering clues to how and why some young people develop substance use disorders, according to new research.

Teenage substance abusers display a characteristic pattern of heart rate and other physiological changes in response to loud noise, offering clues to how and why some young people develop substance use disorders, according to new research.

Related Articles


Those teenagers may use alcohol, tobacco, or other substances, in part, as a way to blunt their bodies' reactions to stressful events in their lives, Jeanette Taylor, William G. Iacono, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, report in the March issue of Psychophysiology, published today.

"Substance dependence is a complex phenomenon that cannot be fully understood through examination of single domains, such as the environment," Taylor says. "Our investigation lends further support to the growing literature that suggests that examination of physiological systems will provide important pieces in the puzzle of substance dependence."

While 175 young men aged 16 to 18 listened through headphones for a 90 decibel blast of white noise, Taylor and colleagues recorded a variety of physiological measures, including heart rate and skin conductance, an indicator of arousal. Sometimes the noise blasts would be signaled in advance on a computer screen; at other times they were not predictable.

When the noise blast was predictable, some of the young men responded with lower skin conductance readings than when the noise blast was unpredictable. These "good modulators," as the researchers called them, were least likely to be dependent on alcohol, tobacco, or other substances.

Other subjects had the opposite response: when the noise was predictable, their skin conductance readings were higher than when the noise was unpredictable. These "poor modulators" were the most likely to report symptoms of substance dependence.

Good modulators also showed increased heart rates in anticipation of the noise blast, but poor modulators showed no heart rate increase preceding the noise.

The findings are consistent with previous research suggesting that alcohol and substance abuse develop, in part, from defects in individuals' "inhibitory control system," leaving them prone to impulsive behavior. Good modulators in the experiment were able to take advantage of the signal preceding the noise blast and remain relatively unaroused, as reflected in their skin conductance readings. The poor modulators, in contrast, became more aroused in the face of the predictable noise blast.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and an Eva O. Miller Fellowship.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center For The Advancement Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Substance Abuse May Curb Body's Stress Reactions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990225072109.htm>.
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (1999, February 25). Substance Abuse May Curb Body's Stress Reactions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990225072109.htm
Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Substance Abuse May Curb Body's Stress Reactions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990225072109.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins