Effects of Thiopental Sedation on Learning and Memory

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Science  04 Aug 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3788, pp. 574-576
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3788.574


Subjects who were administered thiopental showed a loss of memory for events discussed while they were under sedation. We tested the subjects for recognition memory of pictures and recall of associated pairs of letters and words, and found that the subsequent memory loss was correlated with the concentration of thiopental in the venous blood at the time the material was learned. Retention did not appear to be state-dependent because the subject, while under sedation, could recall material learned prior to sedation, and because recall was not facilitated by reinstatement of the sedation.