Visuospatial working memory impairment in current and previous ecstasy/polydrug users

Fisk, J.E., Montgomery, C. and Hadjiefthyvoulou, F., 2011. Visuospatial working memory impairment in current and previous ecstasy/polydrug users. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 26 (45), pp. 313-321. ISSN 1099-1077


Download (120kB) | Preview


Objective: Previous research suggests that ecstasy users are impaired in processing visuospatial information. However, for the most part, the deficits observed appear to involve the recall and recognition of complex visual and geometric patterns. The present research sought to determine whether ecstasy use was associated with deficits in serial spatial recall and visuospatial working memory (VSWM). Methods: Thirty‐eight current ecstasy/polydrug users, 16 previous ecstasy/polydrug users and 52 non ecstasy users completed serial simple spatial recall and VSWM tasks. Results: Both the current and previous users of ecstasy exhibited deficits on the VSWM task. Following controls for group differences in aspects of cannabis and cocaine use, the overall group effect fell to just below statistical significance. However, the difference contrast comparing users with nonusers continued to demonstrate a statistically significant ecstasy‐related VSWM deficit. Conclusions: Ecstasy users were impaired in processing visuospatial information especially under conditions of high processing demand. The results are consistent with ecstasy‐related impairment either in the short‐term posterior parietal and occipital area store or the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex processes, which augment it under conditions of higher processing demands. Further research is needed to pinpoint the actual source of the ecstasy/polydrug‐related VSWM deficits that have been observed here and elsewhere.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental
Creators: Fisk, J.E., Montgomery, C. and Hadjiefthyvoulou, F.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 2011
Volume: 26
Number: 45
ISSN: 1099-1077
Rights: Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:16
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2016 09:09

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year