Drug-Induced Amnesia: Implications for Cognitive Neuropsychological Investigations of Memory

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Studies of drug effects on memory represent a large body of literature that, for the most part, has not had an impact on psychological theories of memory and amnesia produced by cognitive psychologists, who tend to theorize independently of information about the brain. Recently, however, there has been a movement toward cognitive neuropsychological approaches to memory in which theorists have begun to consider, and even focus on, neuroanatomical realities. This approach currently relies on data from organic amnesic patients and normal Ss. This article suggests that studies of drug-induced amnesia complement these current lines of investigation and therefore merit consideration from cognitive neuropsychologists interested in memory. To this end, the drugs and memory literature is reviewed, and its potential relationship with more mainstream cognitive neuropsychology is discussed.

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