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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1995 Apr;118(4):475-9.

Time course of the effects of diazepam and lorazepam on perceptual priming and explicit memory.

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  • 1INSERM Unité 405, Département de Psychiatrie, Hôpitaux Universitaires, Strasbourg, France.


The effects of diazepam and lorazepam on explicit memory and perceptual priming were studied 50, 130 and 300 min after drug administration. Sixty healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to one of five parallel groups (placebo, diazepam 0.2 or 0.3 mg/kg, lorazepam 0.026 or 0.038 mg/kg). The corresponding doses of benzodiazepines exerted a similar negative effect on explicit performance. Lorazepam markedly impaired priming performance, whereas the effect of diazepam was intermediate between that of placebo and that of lorazepam 0.038 mg/kg. The impairment was maximal at the theoretical peak plasma concentration. Contamination by explicit memory could account for the decrease in priming performance observed in the diazepam groups.

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