, Volume 28, Issue 8, pp 1357-1365

Acute effects of triazolam on false recognition


Neuropsychological, neuroimaging, and electrophysiological techniques have been applied to the study of false recognition; however, psychopharmacological techniques have not been applied. Benzodiazepine sedative/anxiolytic drugs produce memory deficits similar to those observed in organic amnesia and may be useful tools for studying normal and abnormal memory mechanisms. The present double-blind, placebo-controlled repeated measures study examined the acute effects of orally administered triazolam (Halcion; 0.125 and 0.25 mg/70 kg), a benzodiazepine hypnotic, on performance in the Deese (1959)/Roediger-McDermott (1995) false recognition paradigm in 24 healthy volunteers. Paralleling previous demonstrations in amnesic patients, triazolam produced significant dose-related reductions in false recognition rates to nonstudied words associatively related to studied words, suggesting that false recognition relies on normal memory mechanisms impaired in benzodiazepineinduced amnesia. The results also suggested that relative to placebo, triazolam reduced participants’ reliance on memory for item-specific versus list-common semantic information and reduced participants’ use of remember versus know responses.

This project was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Grants DA-03889 and DA-11936.