Human serial learning: enhancement with arecholine and choline impairment with scopolamine

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Science  21 Jul 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4352, pp. 274-276
DOI: 10.1126/science.351808


Arecholine (4 milligrams), a cholinergic agonist, and choline (10 grams), a precursor of acetylcholine, significantly enhanced serial learning in normal human subjects. The subjects received methscopolamine prior to both arecholine and placebo injections. Conversely, scopolamine (0.5 milligram), a cholinergic antagonist, impaired learning and this impairment was reversed by arecholine and choline and the impairment after scopolamine were inversely proportional to the subject's performance on placebo; that is, "poor" performers were more vulnerable to both the enhancing effect of cholinergic agonist and precursor and the impairment after cholinergic antagonist than "good" performers.

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