To further explore the difference of GMVs between heavy smokers and HCs, a post hoc analysis was carried out, with which a further VBM analysis was conducted within the brain clusters detected by MVPA. The analysis was corrected for multiple comparisons using family wise error (FWE) at the cluster level (p < 0.05). To do this, firstly the GMVs of the brain regions detected by the MVPA were extracted using the MarsBar toolbox (http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/Imaging/marsbar.html). Then, with age and gender as co-variates, voxel-wise two independent samples t-tests were further performed in these regions to determine the significant differences between heavy smokers and HCs (p < 0.05, FWE-corrected, two-tailed).

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