why French intellectuals smoke

bq. Nicotine enhances several cognitive and psychomotor behaviours, and nicotinic antagonists cause impairments in tasks requiring cognitive effort.

If you knock out the nicotine receptors in the brain, you get the following results:

“in the 2-/- mutant, the high-order spatiotemporal organisation of locomotor behaviour, together with conflict resolution and social interaction, is selectively dissociated from low-level, more automatic motor behaviours. Such deficits in executive functions resemble the rigid and asocial behaviour found in some psychopathological disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”.

All this is deeply respectable research, published in “PNAS.”:http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/1533498100v1 I shall feel less guilty than ever about smoking when I fish.

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