, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 257-262

Effects of diazepam and scopolamine on storage, retrieval and organizational processes in memory

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Abstract

The effects of intramuscular injections of diazepam (0.3 mg/kg) and scopolamine (8 Μg/kg) on memory processes and subjective moods were studied in 36 volunteers. Subjects (Ss) were tested in groups of four in a double blind procedure with treatments distributed according to a Latin square design. Lists of words were presented to Ss who were then tested with an immediate free recall test prior to drug administration. Following injection delayed free recall and recognition tests were given. Subsequently two sets of lists were presented separately and tested in the same fashion. Two of the lists in the last set were composed of words falling into distinct categories. Memory was additionally analyzed by testing immediate recall of digit sequences and employing a visual recognition test. Subjective moods were evaluated with a rating questionnaire.

Both diazepam and scopolamine impaired memory functions although the action of the latter drug was more pronounced and prolonged. The deficit appeared to be in the storage process leaving retrieval processes unaffected. Scopolamine in addition interfered with organizational processes. Subjectively, scopolamine also produced a larger sedative effect than diazepam.