Diversities of behavioral traits and neuropsychological function in different substance addiction

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There are various temperaments and personality characters that modulate the development of substance addiction. The pharmacological properties of substances would alter the homeostasis of brain function and influence the neuropsychological performance through different neurotransmissions which then facilitate diverse emotional and behavioral responses. Our goal is to assess the interaction between personality characteristics, neuropsychological performances and Stroop interference in alcoholics, heroin and amphetamine dependent persons.


Subjects with alcohol (N = 95), heroin (N = 82) and amphetamine (N = 57) dependence were recruited. Diagnostic interview and questionnaires evaluating the psychiatric symptoms were done, followed by neuropsychological assessments of Stroop and Wisconsin card sorting tests (WCST). Differences between the study groups were analyzed by one-way ANOVA with Scheffe's test.


The individuals with alcohol dependence had significantly higher scores of neurotic, dysphoric and impulsive traits (P < 0.001) than heroin and amphetamine dependent groups. In Stroop tests, the alcohol dependent subjects also showed delayed response on incongruent naming interferences compared to both of heroin and amphetamine groups (P < 0.001). Perseverative errors and responses of WCST were significantly higher in heroin than in alcoholic dependent persons (P < 0.01).


Individuals with different substance dependence have distinct behavioral traits for developing addicted behaviors and had variant deficits of neuropsychological function.

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