Effects of scopolamine and nicotine on human rapid information processing performance.

PMID 6425892


In the first experiment, after a 10-min baseline test on a rapid information processing task, subjects received oral doses of either placebo, methscopolamine 1.2 mg, scopolamine 0.6 mg or scopolamine 1.2 mg, and 1 h later performed the task again for a 20-min period. Following scopolamine 1.2 mg, correct detections were significantly lower over the 20-min period, whereas no such decrement was observed in the other three conditions. In the second experiment a similar design was used to study the effects of nicotine 0.5 mg, 1.0 mg and 1.5 mg and placebo, except that post-drug testing was carried out 10 min after baseline due to the faster absorption of nicotine. Nicotine helped prevent both the decline in detections and the increase in reaction time which occurred over time in the placebo condition. These findings indicate that compounds with opposite effects on central cholinergic pathways produce opposite effects on the performance of a task involving rapid information processing, and are consistent with previous findings from this laboratory.

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