, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 371-379

Differential effects of diazepam and lorazepam on repetition priming in healthy volunteers

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The effects of two benzodiazepines, diazepam (15 or 20 mg orally) and lorazepam (1.75 or 2.5 mg orally), and a placebo on explicit memory, lexical priming and perceptual priming were assessed using a freerecall, a word-completion and a picture-completion test. The picture-completion test included two different study conditions intended to manipulate the magnitude of the priming effect. Sixty healthy volunteers took part in this double-blind study. Free-recall performances were altered by both drugs. Lorazepam impaired word-completion and picture-completion performance, whereas diazepam only exhibited a deleterious effect on the more sensitive of the two measures of the picture-completion test. These results indicate that the two benzodiazepines have differential amnestic effects. It is suggested that these differential effects could be accounted for by a different cortical distribution of the two benzodiazepines.