Nicotine is the addictive stimulant found in tobacco products. It causes physiological changes in the brain, resulting in altered concentration, memory and mood.
Nicotine is a stimulant, meaning it increases heart rate, breathing and other bodily functions. As other stimulants, nicotine quickens thinking and sharpens the ability to focus.
According to sciencedaily.com, nicotine improves focus and memory by affecting parts of the brain associated with arousal and visual attention. It works by enhancing activity in the subcortical and posterior cortical regions of the brain, resulting in improved concentration and task performance.
Most first-time tobacco users find that nausea and dizziness are unavoidable side effects of the drug. As tolerance to nicotine increases, these negative effects fade.
Nicotine affects consciousness by inducing addictive behavior patterns through the brain's reward pathways. The feelings of satisfaction one gets from using tobacco encourage repeated administration, while the number of nicotine receptors in the brain increases to adapt to the drug's presence.
Nicotine withdrawal causes symptoms such as irritability, intense cravings for the drug and decreased ability to focus on mental tasks. According to umassmed.edu, neurons requiring nicotine to function compete with those needed for concentration, resulting in decreased capacity for memory and concentration.
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