Neuropsychological, neuroimaging, and electrophysiological techniques have been applied to the study of false recognition; however, psychopharmacological techniques have not been applied. Benzodiazepine sedative/anxiolytic drugs produce memory deficits similar to those observed in organic amnesia and may be useful tools for studying normal and abnormal memory mechanisms. The present double-blind, placebo-controlled repeated measures study examined the acute effects of orally administered triazolam (Halcion; 0.125 and 0.25 mg/70 kg), a benzodiazepine hypnotic, on performance in the Deese (1959)/Roediger-McDermott (1995) false recognition paradigm in 24 healthy volunteers. Paralleling previous demonstrations in amnesic patients, triazolam produced significant dose-related reductions in false recognition rates to nonstudied words associatively related to studied words, suggesting that false recognition relies on normal memory mechanisms impaired in benzodiazepine-induced amnesia. The results also suggested that relative to placebo, triazolam reduced participants' reliance on memory for item-specific versus list-common semantic information and reduced participants' use of remember versus know responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)