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A process-based approach to characterizing the effect of acute alprazolam challenge on visual paired associate learning and memory in healthy older adults.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23027677     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
OBJECTIVE: Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine that, when administered acutely, results in impairments in several aspects of cognition, including attention, learning, and memory. However, the profile (i.e., component processes) that underlie alprazolam-related decrements in visual paired associate learning has not been fully explored. METHODS: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized cross-over study of healthy older adults, we used a novel, "process-based" computerized measure of visual paired associate learning to examine the effect of a single, acute 1-mg dose of alprazolam on component processes of visual paired associate learning and memory. RESULTS: Acute alprazolam challenge was associated with a large magnitude reduction in visual paired associate learning and memory performance (d = 1.05). Process-based analyses revealed significant increases in distractor, exploratory, between-search, and within-search error types. Analyses of percentages of each error type suggested that, relative to placebo, alprazolam challenge resulted in a decrease in the percentage of exploratory errors and an increase in the percentage of distractor errors, both of which reflect memory processes. CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study suggest that acute alprazolam challenge decreases visual paired associate learning and memory performance by reducing the strength of the association between pattern and location, which may reflect a general breakdown in memory consolidation, with less evidence of reductions in executive processes (e.g., working memory) that facilitate visual paired associate learning and memory. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Robert H Pietrzak; James Cobb Scott; Brian T Harel; Yen Ying Lim; Peter J Snyder; Paul Maruff
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-10-2
Journal Detail:
Title:  Human psychopharmacology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1099-1077     ISO Abbreviation:  Hum Psychopharmacol     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-2     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8702539     Medline TA:  Hum Psychopharmacol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Clinical Neurosciences Division, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; CogState Ltd, Melbourne, Australia.
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