Benzodiazepine effects on flicker sensitivity: Role of stimulus frequency and size

Richard J Maddock, Evanne J. Casson, Lori A. Lott, Cameron S Carter, Chris A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Maddock Richard J., Evanne J. Casson, Lori A. Lott, Cameron S. Carter, and Chris A. Johnson: Benzodiazepine effects on flicker sensitivity: Role of stimulus frequency and size. Prog. Neuro-Psychopharmacol. & Biol. Psychiat. 1993, 17(6): 955-970. 1. 1. Benzodiazepines (BZDs) impair sensitivity to temporally modulated visual stimuli (flicker). Critical flicker-fusion frequency (CFF) is commonly used as a measure of this effect, but it only measures sensitivity to a narrow range of frequencies, usually above 25 Hz. Are other frequencies more sensitive to the effects of BZDs? 2. 2. Flicker sensitivity at 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 Hz was measured for 1° and 5° stimuli before and 50 to 100 minutes after triazolam (0.25 mg), lorazepam (1.0 mg) and placebo. Drug effects on CFF were also measured. 3. 3. Both BZDs significantly impaired overall flicker sensitivity. Triazolam produced 50% more impairment than lorazepam. CFF was significantly impaired by triazolam. BZD effects did not vary with stimulus size. 4. 4. Significantly greater BZD-induced impairment of flicker sensitivity occurred at 16 Hz than at 1, 2, 4, or 32 Hz. 5. 5. The magnitude of BZD effects on flicker sensitivity vary with the temporal frequency of the stimulus. BZD effects are greatest for 8-16 Hz stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-970
Number of pages16
JournalProgress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

Keywords

  • benzodiazepines
  • CFF
  • flicker
  • lorazepam
  • triazolam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology

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