Psychopharmacology

, Volume 116, Issue 4, pp 499–507 | Cite as

Effects of oxazepam on performance and event-related brain potentials in vigilance tasks with static and dynamic stimuli

  • T. H. van Leeuwen
  • M. N. Verbaten
  • H. S. Koelega
  • G. Camfferman
  • J. van der Gugten
  • J. L. Slangen
Article

Abstract

Eighteen males performed two vigilance tasks with static and dynamic stimuli under the influence of oxazepam (20 and 40 mg) in a placebo-controlled, double blind, crossover design. Oxazepam (40 mg) caused impaired performance in the early part of a task with stimuli inducing frequent saccadic eye movements (dynamic task), relative to a task in which the stimuli remained at the same location (static task). This could not be explained by effects of the drug on oculomotor behavior. A larger diameter of the pupil in the dynamic task indicated that performance on this task may have required more effort. Stimulus processing requirements were higher in the dynamic task, as suggested by event-related brain potentials (ERPs), in particular the P3 wave; i.e., more resources had to be allocated in this task. This (additional) investment of resources appeared impossible after administration of oxazepam (40 mg). The conclusion was that tasks eliciting frequent eye movements require more effort and processing resources.

Key words

Vigilance performance Static versus dynamic stimuli Event-related potentials Processing resources Benzodiazepines 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. H. van Leeuwen
    • 1
  • M. N. Verbaten
    • 1
  • H. S. Koelega
    • 1
  • G. Camfferman
    • 1
  • J. van der Gugten
    • 1
  • J. L. Slangen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Psychopharmacology, Rudolf Magnus Institute of NeuroscienceUtrecht UniversityNetherlands

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