Clinical Pharmacology of Learning and Memory

  • Walter B. Essman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 1-5
  3. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 7-13
  4. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 15-41
  5. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 43-67
  6. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 69-90
  7. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 91-103
  8. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 105-110
  9. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 111-118
  10. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 119-123
  11. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 125-127
  12. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 129-141
  13. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 143-146
  14. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 147-150
  15. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 151-152
  16. Walter B. Essman
    Pages 153-155
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 157-202

About this book


The search for drugs to alter learning and memory processes in animals and man has its roots in mythology as well as the history of medicine. The use of plant alkaloids to improve memory was a recommendation of Benjamin Rush in his "Diseases of the Mind" (1812, P. 284), and the mysterious contents of lethe, a liquid capable of causing the erasure of earthly memories is found in Egyptian and Greek mythology, as well as described by Dante, remains a still-sought amnesic molecule. The facilitation of learning or improvement of memory has been claimed for several plant-derived substances including coca, chat, caffeine, and nicotine. Hypotheses concerning substances found in the brain and their presumed significance for learning or memory led to the development and use of agents that contained such substances. For example, as observed by William James (1892, P. 132), the emphasis, in Germany during the 1860's, upon phosphorus in the brain for cognitive functions gave rise to the suggestion that foods vii viii CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY OF LEARNING AND MEMORY high in phosphorus content, such as fish, were good for brain function. Phosphorus-containing preparations were advocated for use in cases of poor memory, exhaustion, etc. , and though sometimes useful, probably were effective due to a non-specific stimulant effect. Whether the positive cognitive efficacy of non-specific CNS stimulants such as phosphorus, rosemary, lavender, cubeb berries, etc. were really very different from those investigated in animal experiments (Lashley, 1917) or those documented within recent decades remains to be explored.



Authors and affiliations

  • Walter B. Essman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueens CollegeFlushingUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1983
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-011-9660-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-011-9658-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site