The effect of midazolam on conscious, controlled processing: evidence from the process-dissociation procedure.

The benzodiazepine midazolam produces a dense anterograde amnesia. Recent findings (see, e.g., Hirshman, Passannante, & Arndt, 2001) have demonstrated that midazolam produces larger impairments on explicit memory tests such as free recall and recognition memory than on implicit memory tests such as perceptual identification and free association. Such findings suggest that midazolam impairs conscious, controlled memory processes. In the present experiments, we used Jacoby's (1991, 1998) process-dissociation procedure to examine this hypothesis. Our results demonstrate that midazolam increases the production of old items on the exclusion task and reduces the production of old items on the inclusion task. Moreover, generation effects, hypothesized to arise from conscious processes, are reduced by midazolam on both tasks. Analyses using both independence and redundancy models of the process-dissociation procedure confirm the conclusion that midazolam impairs conscious memory processes.
AuthorsElliot Hirshman, Julia Fisher, Thomas Henthorn, Jason Arndt, Anthony Passannante
JournalMemory & cognition (Mem Cognit) Vol. 31 Issue 8 Pg. 1181-7 (Dec 2003) ISSN: 0090-502X [Print] United States
PMID15058679 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • GABA Modulators
  • Midazolam
  • Consciousness (drug effects)
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • GABA Modulators (administration & dosage, pharmacology)
  • Humans
  • Memory (drug effects)
  • Midazolam (administration & dosage, pharmacology)
  • Recognition (Psychology) (drug effects)

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