Psychopharmacology

, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 414–416

Effects of interferon alpha on performance in man: a preliminary report

  • Andrew Smith
  • David Tyrrell
  • Kieran Coyle
  • Peter Higgins
Original Investigations

DOI: 10.1007/BF00216072

Cite this article as:
Smith, A., Tyrrell, D., Coyle, K. et al. Psychopharmacology (1988) 96: 414. doi:10.1007/BF00216072

Abstract

The effects of three doses of interferon alpha (1.5 Mu, 0.5 Mu and 0.1 Mu) on performance were studied. The injection of 1.5 Mu IFN produced symptoms and performance changes which closely resembled those found in volunteers with influenza. Specifically, volunteers were slower at responding when they were uncertain when a target stimulus would appear, but were not impaired on a pursuit tracking task or syntactic reasoning task. The results suggest that interferon-induced changes in CNS function provide a plausible explanation for the selective effects of influenza on performance.

Key words

Alpha interferonSimple reaction timeTrackingSyntactic reasoning

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Smith
    • 1
  • David Tyrrell
    • 2
  • Kieran Coyle
    • 1
  • Peter Higgins
    • 2
  1. 1.MRC Perceptual and Cognitive Performance Unit, Laboratory of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK
  2. 2.MRC Common Cold UnitHarvard HospitalSalisburyUK