W.P.M. van den Wildenberg
- Khat use is associated with increased response conflict in humans
- Human Psychopharmacology
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
OBJECTIVE: Khat consumption has become a worldwide phenomenon broadening from Eastern Africa and the south west of the Arabian Peninsula to ethnic communities in the rest of the world. Only few studies have systematically looked into cognitive impairments in khat users. We studied whether khat use is associated with changes in the emergence and resolution of response conflict, a central cognitive control function.
METHOD: Khat users (n = 16) and khat-free controls (n = 16) were matched in terms of sex, ethnicity, socio-economical situation, age, alcohol and cannabis consumption, and IQ (Raven's Progressive Matrices). Groups were tested on response conflict, as measured by the Simon task.
RESULTS: Khat users performed significantly slower than controls and were more strongly affected by stimulus-induced response conflict.
CONCLUSIONS: Khat use is associated with specific impairments in behavioral control: general slowing and less efficient resolution of response conflicts, which is likely to impair decision making in everyday life.
- go to publisher's site