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Am J Psychiatry. 2002 Aug;159(8):1420-2.

Relationship of enhanced norepinephrine activity during memory consolidation to enhanced long-term memory in humans.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, CT, USA. Steven.Southwick@med.va.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of enhanced noradrenergic activity on memory consolidation in humans.

METHOD:

Thirty healthy subjects (21 men and nine women) viewed a series of 12 slides that depicted an emotionally arousing story. Five minutes after viewing the slides, subjects received either intravenous yohimbine or intravenous placebo in a double-blind randomized fashion. Multiple blood samples were drawn for determining plasma free 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG). One week later subjects took a surprise memory test for the slides.

RESULTS:

There was no significant difference in memory score between yohimbine and placebo groups. Linear regression revealed a significant effect of MHPG on memory score for the group as a whole (subjects who had received yohimbine and those who had received placebo) and for the placebo group alone.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings strengthen support for the hypothesis that enhanced memory for emotionally arousing events in humans depends critically on postlearning adrenergic modulation.

PMID:
12153837
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ajp.159.8.1420
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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