Drugs, memory, and metamemory: A dose-effect study with lorazepam and scopolamine

Miriam Z. Mintzer, Roland R. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This experiment was designed to use the graded dose-related amnesia produced by the benzodiazepine lorazepam (1.0, 2.0 mg/70 kg, oral) and the anticholinergic scopolamine (0.3, 0.6 mg/70 kg, subcutaneous) as a tool to explore the cognitive and neurochemical mechanisms underlying metamemory in the judgment of learning paradigm, with a placebo-controlled independent groups design in healthy volunteers (n = 12/group). Results provide evidence for a pharmacological dissociation between effects on memory versus metamemory (relative accuracy of item-by-item monitoring) across a range of levels of memory performance and suggest that the drugs selectively impair those aspects of metamnemonic monitoring that require participants' awareness of their overall current state of functioning (absolute accuracy of prospective item-by-item monitoring, prospective global monitoring) but not those that rely solely on assessment of individual item characteristics (relative accuracy of item-by-item monitoring).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-347
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental and clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Benzodiazepine
  • Lorazepam
  • Memory
  • Metamemory
  • Scopolamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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