Dissociable effects of a single dose of ecstasy (MDMA) on psychomotor skills and attentional performance
Lamers CT, Ramaekers JG, Muntjewerff ND, Sikkema KL,
Samyn N, Read NL, Brookhuis KA, Riedel WJ.
Experimental Psychopharmacology Unit,
Brain and Behaviour Institute, Maastricht University,
Maastricht, The Netherlands.
J Psychopharmacol. 2003 Dec;17(4):379-87


Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is a psychoactive recreational drug widely used by young people visiting dance parties, and has been associated with poor cognitive function. The current study assessed the influence of a single dose of MDMA 75 mg and alcohol 0.5 g/kg on cognition, psychomotor performance and driving-related task performance. Twelve healthy recreational ecstasy users participated in an experimental study conducted according to a double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled three-way cross-over design. MDMA improved psychomotor performance, such as movement speed and tracking performance in a single task, as well as in a divided attention task. MDMA impaired the ability to predict object movement under divided attention. However, the inability to accurately predict object movement after MDMA may indicate impairment of particular performance skills relevant to driving. There was no effect of MDMA on visual search, planning or retrieval from semantic memory.

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