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The separate and combined effects of scopolamine and nicotine on human information processing.

Abstract

Previous work in this and another laboratory has shown that nicotine tablets improve the performance of a rapid information processing task and reduce the Stroop effect, whereas scopolamine has the opposite effects. The purpose of this study was to extend these previous findings by determining whether, when administered together, these two drugs have mutually antagonistic effects on task performance. Two experiments are reported, both using within-subjects double-blind Latin Square designs. In the first, six subjects received single and combined doses of scopolamine 1.2 mg and nicotine 1.5 mg, and there was some evidence that the two drugs had mutually antagonistic effects on the rapid information processing task. In the second experiment 12 subjects received the same doses, but rapid information processing testing was carried out over a longer time period and Stroop testing was introduced at the end of the 2.5 h session. Nicotine was found to counteract the depression of performance produced by scopolamine on both the rapid information task and the Stroop test. These results provide further support for the theory that central cholinergic pathways play a major role in human information processing.

PMID:
6436890
DOI:
10.1007/bf00432014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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