, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 287–298 | Cite as

Some observations suggesting preservation of skilled motor acts despite drug-induced stress

  • Hans Heimann
  • Charles F. Reed
  • Peter N. Witt
Original Investigations


Measures of skilled motor performances, both of a task-oriented (tests of eye-hand coordination) and incidental (control of facial and ocular muscles) nature were recorded for a sample of 20 healthy young adults before and after single administrations of perphenazine, opipramol, imipramine and placebo at doselevels commonly supposed to produce mood or behavioral effects. It was anticipated that such performances would be sensitive even to slight changes in the subjects' physiological and psychological state; the aim was to test the power of tests of subtle skills in providing indices of slight to moderate behavioral effects.

The performance measures remained surprisingly little affected by all drugs, despite their sensitivity to drug-independent improvement in performance throughout the experimental day, and despite evidences of drug-related effects, especially for imipramine and opipramol, in simple objective physiological measures, and for imipramine alone in subjective measures taken concurrently.

There may be a class of skilled sensory-motor acts, particularly those related to well-learned daily activities, which, rather than being vulnerable to adverse effect, remain efficient even in the presence of signs of disturbance of bodily function.


Motion Pictures Motor Skills Eye Movements Psychopharmacology Psychological Tests 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Heimann
    • 1
  • Charles F. Reed
    • 2
  • Peter N. Witt
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche PsychopathologiqueClinique Psychiatrique UniversitairePrilly-Lausanne
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphia
  3. 3.Division of Research, N. C. Department of Mental HealthRaleigh

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