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Assessing the functional significance of ecstasy-related memory deficits using a virtual paradigm

Montgomery, C and Hatton, NP and Fisk, JE and Ogden, RS and Jansari, A (2010) Assessing the functional significance of ecstasy-related memory deficits using a virtual paradigm. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 25 (4). pp. 318-325. ISSN 0885-6222

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Abstract

Rationale/Objectives
Previous research shows that the use of ecstasy results in working memory and executive impairments in some users. The present study sought to assess the functional significance of such deficits using a virtual reality task.

Methods
Twenty-three ecstasy-polydrug users and 26 nonusers were recruited. Individuals completed a drug use questionnaire measures of sleep quality and fluid intelligence. Participants also completed a virtual reality executive function task in which they play the role of an office worker for the day completing predefined tasks such as prioritising different activities according to their importance, organising the physical office environment and managing the outgoing mail in accordance with a delivery schedule.

Results
MANOVA revealed that ecstasy users performed worse on the virtual reality task overall, and this was due to poorer performance on the planning and selection subscales. Contrary to expectations, ecstasy-polydrug users performed better on the time-based prospective memory subscale. Indices of ecstasy use were correlated with the planning subscale of the virtual task.

Conclusions
The present study provides further support for ecstasy/polydrug related deficits in executive functioning. As it is possible that this task is more ecologically valid and relevant to day-to-day activities of many users, previous research finding null results on executive function tasks may have underestimated the impact of ecstasy-polydrug use on executive functioning.

Keywords: ecstasy; cannabis; cocaine; executive function;
virtual reality

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Montgomery, C., Hatton, N. P., Fisk, J. E., Ogden, R. S. and Jansari, A. (2010), Assessing the functional significance of ecstasy-related memory deficits using a virtual paradigm. Hum. Psychopharmacol. Clin. Exp., 25: 318–325,which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hup.1119. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1115 Pharmacology And Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1701 Psychology, 1702 Cognitive Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 15 May 2015 10:38
Last Modified: 15 May 2015 10:38
DOI or Identification number: 10.1002/hup.1119
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1092

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