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The effects of scopolamine and clonidine upon the performance and learning of a motor skill.

Frith, CD; McGinty, MA; Gergel, I; Crow, TJ; (1989) The effects of scopolamine and clonidine upon the performance and learning of a motor skill. Psychopharmacology (Berl) , 98 (1) pp. 120-125.

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Abstract

Twenty-eight subjects practised a task involving procedural knowledge in which a moving target has to be followed for two 3-min sessions. They were then randomly allocated to receive an IV injection of 0.4 mg scopolamine, 0.15 mg clonidine or saline. General impairment due to both active treatments was seen 20 min later in significantly decreased tracking performance. Subjects then had to learn a mirror-reversed version of the tracking task. This involved acquiring novel procedural knowledge. Subjects who had either saline or clonidine treatment showed rapid temporary improvements and also considerable permanent learning. Subjects treated with scopolamine, however, showed only slow temporary improvement and little permanent improvement in their performance at this task. This result suggests that a normally functioning cholinergic system is necessary not only for an efficient working memory but also for the long term acquisition of some kinds of procedural knowledge.

Type: Article
Title: The effects of scopolamine and clonidine upon the performance and learning of a motor skill.
Location: Germany
Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Arousal, Blood Pressure, Clonidine, Female, Humans, Learning, Male, Middle Aged, Psychomotor Performance, Scopolamine, Stress, Physiological
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10025396
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