The effects on memory, psychomotor functions and mood of intramuscular scopolamine (0.3 mg, 0.6 mg) were compared with those of oral lorazepam (2 mg) and placebo. Thirty-six volunteers took part in a doubleblind, independent groups design. Subjects completed a battery of tests 1 and 3 h after drug administration. Both doses of scopolamine produced levels of sedation comparable to that produced by lorazepam. The time course of effects of scopolamine and lorazepam differed but the pattern of psychomotor impairments and amnestic effects produced was very similar. In terms of mood, lorazepam had an anxiolytic effect whereas scopolamine increased ratings of anxiety. Levels of sedation, indexed by either subjective ratings or motor retardation (tapping speed), were related more to psychomotor performance than to performance on memory tasks. The results suggest that benzodiazepines and scopolamine have similar amnestic and sedative effects and as such may not offer distinct models of memory dysfunction.
- Psychomotor performance