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The effect of lorazepam on memory and event-related potentials in heavy and light social drinkers


Nichols, JM and Martin, F, The effect of lorazepam on memory and event-related potentials in heavy and light social drinkers, Psychophysiology, 33, (4) pp. 446-456. ISSN 0048-5772 (1996) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.1996.tb01070.x


To investigate the effects of heavy social drinking on sober cognitive processing, event-related potentials were recorded from 13 heavy social drinkers and 13 light social drinkers in the presence and absence of a pharmacological challenge (i.e., lorazepam). Event-related potentials were elicited by a task requiring continuous recognition memory for visually presented words. The heavy social drinkers exhibited shorter P2 latencies than the light social drinkers and decreased P300 latencies to correctly identified 'old' words (i.e., words presented previously in the task) versus 'new' words. Lorazepam increased motor reaction time to correctly identified old words and produced a deficit in recognition memory only in the light social drinkers. Light social drinkers had an increased P300 latency and a larger P300 amplitude to new words in the lorazepam treatment. The differences in cognitive functioning evident between heavy and light social drinkers were reflected in event-related potential deviations and appear to indicate a tolerance in heavy social drinkers to the effects of lorazepam.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Martin, F (Associate Professor Frances Martin)
ID Code:7235
Year Published:1996
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:1996-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-16

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