Author(s): Whiting E, Chenery H, Chalk J, Darnell R, Copland D
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Abstract Past research suggests that dexamphetamine (Dex) can facilitate learning and memory in healthy individuals and after a neurological lesion. This study investigated the effects of Dex on the learning of names for new objects in young healthy adults (n=37) within an explicit learning paradigm by using a double-blind, placebo-controlled between- subjects design. Participants received 10 mg Dex or a placebo each morning over five consecutive days before viewing 100 novel objects with non-word names plus matched fillers. Compared to the placebo, Dex enhanced both the rate of learning and the retention of the words 1 wk and 1 month later. The improved word learning correlated with baseline attention and memory scores for participants in the Dex group only. No correlations were observed between word-learning success and sustained attention, mood or cardiovascular arousal. It was concluded that the improved explicit word learning may have reflected dexamphetamine-induced changes in short-term memory and/or memory consolidation.
This article was published in Int J Neuropsychopharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics