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Effects of lorazepam on perceptual integration of visual forms in healthy volunteers.

Abstract : We tested whether lorazepam (a benzodiazepine) affects perceptual processes involved in the computation of contour information. Subjects matched incomplete forms whose contour was composed of line segments varying in their spacing and in their alignment. An initial centrally displayed object (a reference) was followed by two laterally displayed pictures, a target and a distractor. The distractor was the mirror-reversed version of the target. In one condition, the reference was always an outline drawing of an object. In another condition, the reference was either an outline drawing or an incomplete form. All subjects were run in both conditions. Lorazepam 0.038 mg/kg induced a larger increase in RTs than the placebo and lorazepam 0.026 mg/kg when the spacing between local contour elements was larger than 10.8' arc and when the line segments were not aligned. Performance was improved in the 0.038 mg/kg lorazepam group when subjects started with the condition in which the reference was always an outline drawing. Performance was not correlated with sedation. These results show that lorazepam impairs visual perception. They are interpreted in terms of impaired binding processes, which can be compensated for by the use of stored object representations. This effect is consistent with electrophysiological studies showing that the neuromediator GABA is involved in perceptual processes.
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Contributor : Anny Wartel <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 20, 2008 - 2:40:14 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 2:52:06 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-00332218, version 1
  • PUBMED : 7675941


Arnaud Giersch, M. Boucart, J. M. Danion, P. Vidailhet, F. Legrand. Effects of lorazepam on perceptual integration of visual forms in healthy volunteers.. Psychopharmacology, Springer Verlag, 1995, 119 (1), pp.105-14. ⟨hal-00332218⟩



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