, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 137–145 | Cite as

Effects of marihuana on auditory signal detection

  • Herbert Moskowitz
  • William McGlothlin
Human Pharmacology


23 male subjects were tested for auditory signal detection under a no-treatment condition, and smoke marihuana conditions containing 0, 50, 100 and 200 Μg δ9-THC per kg body weight. Signal detection was measured under conditions of concentrated attention, in which the subject reported the presence or absence of a tone in a 3-sec noise burst; and divided attention, where the subject also repeated a series of six digits which were presented simultaneously with the noise burst. No differences were found between the no-treatment and placebo conditions. Significant dose-dependent impairment of signal detection resulted for the marihuana conditions under both concentrated and divided attention. Application of signal detection theory indicated that impaired performance was due to a decline in sensitivity (d′), independent of changes in subject criteria (beta). There was also some indication of change in criteria—a greater tendency for erroneous reporting of a signal when it was not present.

Key words

Auditory Signal Detection Marihuana Attention 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Moskowitz
    • 1
    • 2
  • William McGlothlin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State UniversityLos Angeles
  2. 2.Institute of Transportation and Traffic EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles

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