Abnormal maximal finger tapping in abstinent cannabis users

Stanley Flavel, Jason White, Gabrielle Todd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To investigate movement speed and rhythmicity in abstinent cannabis users, we hypothesized that abstinent cannabis users exhibit decreased maximal finger tapping frequency and increased variability of tapping compared with non-drug users. Methods: The study involved 10 healthy adult cannabis users and 10 age-matched and gender-matched controls with no history of illicit drug use. Subjects underwent a series of screening tests prior to participation. Subjects were then asked to tap a strain gauge as fast as possible with the index finger of their dominant hand (duration 5 s). Results: The average intertap interval did not significantly differ between groups, but the coefficient of variation of the intertap interval was significantly greater in the cannabis group than in controls (p = 0.011). The cannabis group also exhibited a slow tapping frequency at the beginning of the task. Conclusions: Rhythmicity of finger tapping is abnormal in individuals with a history of cannabis use. The abnormality appears to be long lasting and adds to the list of functional changes present in abstinent cannabis users.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)612-614
    Number of pages3
    JournalHuman Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


    • cannabis
    • finger tapping
    • psychomotor
    • rhythmicity


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