Dose Effects of Triazolam and Scopolamine on Metamemory

Miriam Z. Mintzer, Bethea A. Kleykamp, Roland R. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The present study compared the acute dose effects of the benzodiazepine triazolam and the anticholinergic scopolamine on metamemory (knowledge and awareness of one's own memory) in a two-phase paradigm designed to assess effects on both monitoring and control components of metamemory in both semantic (general knowledge) and episodic memory (cued-recall) tasks. Placebo and 2 doses each of triazolam (0.125, 0.25 mg/70 kg, oral) and scopolamine (0.25, 0.50 mg/70 kg, subcutaneous) were administered to 80 healthy volunteers (16 per group) in a double-blind, double-dummy, independent groups design. Both triazolam and scopolamine impaired episodic memory (quantity and accuracy) but not semantic memory. Results suggested that both drugs impaired monitoring as reflected in absolute accuracy measures (impaired calibration in the direction of overconfidence) and control sensitivity (the relationship between confidence and behavior). Overall, the results did not provide evidence for differences between triazolam and scopolamine in memory or metamemory. In addition to the clinical relevance of the observed effects, this study adds to the accumulating body of cognitive psychopharmacological research illustrating the usefulness of drug-induced amnesia as a vehicle to explore memory and metamemory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental and clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • benzodiazepine
  • memory
  • metamemory
  • scopolamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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