Arginine vasopressin and a number of its synthetic analogs augment memory functions in experimental animals.One of these analogs, 1-desamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin (DDAVP), influences human learning and memory. Cognitively unimpaired, as well as cognitively impaired adults, treated with DDAVP for a period of several days, learn information more effectively, as measured by the completeness, organization, and consistency (reliability) of recall. DDAVP also appears to reverse partially the retrograde amnesia that follows electroconvulsive treatment.