Alcohol and pharmacologically similar sedatives impair encoding and facilitate consolidation of both recollection and familiarity in episodic memory

Manoj K. Doss, Jessica Weafer, Nicholas A. Ruiz, David A. Gallo, Harriet De Wit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alcohol and other pharmacologically similar sedatives (i.e., GABA A positive allosteric modulators or PAMs) impair the encoding of new episodic memories but retroactively facilitate the consolidation of recently encoded memories. These effects are consistent for recollection (i.e., the retrieval of details) but some mixed results have been reported for familiarity (i.e., a feeling of knowing a stimulus was presented). Here, with dual-process models, we reanalyzed prior work testing the effects of GABA A PAMs at encoding or consolidation. Contrary to previous conclusions, we show that GABA A PAMs at encoding consistently impair both recollection and familiarity when an independence correction is applied to familiarity-based responses. These findings were further confirmed and extended in a dual-process signal detection analysis of a recent study on the effects of alcohol during encoding or consolidation: Alcohol at encoding impaired both recollection and familiarity, whereas alcohol at consolidation enhanced both recollection and familiarity. These findings speak to the ability of alcohol and other GABA A PAMs to induce ‘blackouts,’ highlighting the importance of dual-process approaches when analyzing drug manipulations at different phases of episodic memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalCognitive Neuroscience
Volume9
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse [DA002812,DA031796,F32 DA033756];

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse under Grants DA002812 (HdW), DA031796 (HdW and DAG), and F32 DA033756 (JW).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • GABA
  • episodic memory
  • familiarity
  • recollection
  • retrograde facilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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