Enhanced cued recall, a procedure which circumvents inattention and induces semantic processing, was used to determine if scopolamine produces direct impairment of specific memory mechanisms or indirect impairment of memory secondary to impairment of other cognitive processes. In two studies, cognitively normal young adults given moderate or high doses of scopolamine maintained maximum cued recall in spite of a dose-dependent decrement in free recall. This finding suggests that cholinergic blockade may impair memory indirectly through effects on other cognitive processes.

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