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Title: Psychopharmacological and electrophysiological aspects of psychomotor enhancing drugs
Author: Wansborough, Philip
ISNI:       0000 0001 3562 986X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1998
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The present study has investigated the possibility of using pharmacological methods to enhance the psychomotor performance of young, healthy human subjects beyond normal levels. Previously reported studies have concentrated on replacing cognitive performance in clinical cognitive deficit conditions. However, overall evidence of drug effects, on various aspects of cognition, suggested that some drugs may be able to enhance the psychomotor component of cognitive performance in normal subjects. Four substances which had shown some evidence being putative psychomotor enhancers were identified, caffeine, nicotine. Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) and citalopram hydrobromide (CH). Each had a specifically different pharmacology, caffeine and nicotine being stimulants but with different sites of activity, GBE a vasodilator and increaser of cerebral blood flow, and CH a re-uptake inhibitor of serotonin. Experiments were conducted to assess if their relative pharmacologies were suitable for achieving absolute psychomotor enhancement and to assess if currently available substances would be genuinely usable as psychomotor enhancers. A test battery of relevant and valid tests was constructed to cover the performance, physiological and psychological aspects of performance which were likely to be affected. The results showed some evidence for absolute psychomotor performance enhancement, with stimulant effects on the EEG and some improvement in reaction times and mood with caffeine and nicotine. GBE and CH did not show any effects on the tests used. This did not unequivocally demonstrate the existence of psychomotor enhancers but did suggest that active stimulation of the Central Nervous System is a more appropriate approach to increasing psychomotor performance above normal levels, than increasing the amount of resource for brain function.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Pharmacology & pharmacy & pharmaceutical chemistry