1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.

Benzodiazepines and semantic memory: effects of lorazepam on the Moses illusion (2004)

Benzodiazepines and semantic memory: effects of lorazepam on the Moses illusion (2004)

  1. Jatelka
    Psychopharmacology (2004) 172:309–315

    Marie Izaute · Laurence Paire-Ficout ·
    Elisabeth Bacon

    RATIONALE: When asked "How many animals of each kind did Moses take on the ark?", people fail to notice the distortion introduced by the impostor "Moses" and respond "two". It has been argued that the effect must be due to the existence of a partial-match process. In most situations, the form of a question is not likely to closely match the memory representation it queries. Thus, for the partial match hypothesis people ignore some semantic distortions. In the same vein, it has been shown that the benzodiazepine lorazepam drug induces some impairments of semantic memory as participants under lorazepam provide more incorrect recalls than placebo do with general information questions. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the benzodiazepine lorazepam on the Moses illusion paradigm. METHOD: The effects of lorazepam (0.038 mg/kg) and of a placebo were investigated in 28 healthy volunteers. Twenty-two illusory questions were presented along with 72 normal general information questions. RESULTS: Lorazepam impaired the ability to detect the Moses illusion. Moreover, lorazepam participants appeared less biased to consider a question distorted than placebo participants. CONCLUSIONS: The temporary and reversible semantic memory impairments experienced by participants when falling into the Moses illusion are more frequent under lorazepam. The amnesic drug lorazepam may impair semantic processing as well as the strategic control of memory.

    Discussion Thread