Inattention, impulsive action, and subjective response to d-amphetamine

Jessica Weafer, Harriet De Wit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Both impulsivity and sensitivity to the rewarding effects of drugs have long been considered risk factors for drug abuse. There is some preclinical evidence to suggest that the two are related; however, there is little information about how specific behavioral components of impulsivity are related to the acute euphorigenic effects of drugs in humans. The aim of the current study was to examine the degree to which both inattention and impulsive action predicted subjective response to amphetamine. Methods: Healthy adults (n=165) performed the behavioral tasks and rated their subjective response to amphetamine (0, 5, 10, and 20. mg). Inattention was assessed as attention lapses on a simple reaction time task, and impulsive action was measured by stop RT on the stop task. Subjective response to amphetamine was assessed with the Drug Effects Questionnaire (DEQ) and the Profile of Mood States (POMS). Results: Hierarchical linear regression analyses showed significant negative associations between attention lapses and subjective response to amphetamine on DEQ measures. By contrast, stop RT was positively associated with responses on both DEQ and POMS measures. Additionally, a dose-response relationship was observed, such that the strength of these associations increased with higher doses of amphetamine. Conclusions: These findings suggest that inattention is associated with less subjective response to amphetamine. By contrast, the heightened sensitivity to stimulant drug reward observed in individuals high in impulsive action suggests that this might be one mechanism contributing to increased risk for stimulant drug abuse in these individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse Grants DA002812 (Harriet de Wit), DA021336 and DA027545 (Abraham A. Palmer), and DA033756 (Jessica Weafer). The NIDA had no further role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.


  • Amphetamine
  • Humans
  • Impulsive action
  • Inattention
  • Subjective effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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