Visuospatial working memory impairment in current and previous ecstasy/polydrug users

Article


Fisk, John E., Montgomery, Catharine and Hadjiefthyvoulou, F. 2011. Visuospatial working memory impairment in current and previous ecstasy/polydrug users. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 26 (4-5), pp. 313-321.
AuthorsFisk, John E., Montgomery, Catharine and Hadjiefthyvoulou, F.
Abstract

Objective

Previous research suggests that ecstasy users are impaired in processing visuospatial information. However, for the most part, the deficits observed appear to involve the recall and recognition of complex visual and geometric patterns. The present research sought to determine whether ecstasy use was associated with deficits in serial spatial recall and visuospatial working memory (VSWM).
Methods

Thirty‐eight current ecstasy/polydrug users, 16 previous ecstasy/polydrug users and 52 non ecstasy users completed serial simple spatial recall and VSWM tasks.
Results

Both the current and previous users of ecstasy exhibited deficits on the VSWM task. Following controls for group differences in aspects of cannabis and cocaine use, the overall group effect fell to just below statistical significance. However, the difference contrast comparing users with nonusers continued to demonstrate a statistically significant ecstasy‐related VSWM deficit.
Conclusions

Ecstasy users were impaired in processing visuospatial information especially under conditions of high processing demand. The results are consistent with ecstasy‐related impairment either in the short‐term posterior parietal and occipital area store or the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex processes, which augment it under conditions of higher processing demands. Further research is needed to pinpoint the actual source of the ecstasy/polydrug‐related VSWM deficits that have been observed here and elsewhere.

JournalHuman Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental
Journal citation26 (4-5), pp. 313-321
ISSN0885-6222
Year2011
PublisherWiley
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/hup.1207
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1002/hup.1207
Publication dates
Print25 Jul 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Nov 2018
Accepted15 Apr 2011
Accepted15 Apr 2011
Copyright information© 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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