Working memory deficits in current and previous users of MDMA ('ecstasy')

Br J Psychol. 2000 May;91 ( Pt 2):181-8. doi: 10.1348/000712600161772.


Current and previous users of the drug MDMA ('ecstasy') were tested on measures of central executive functioning, information processing speed, and on self-report measures of arousal and anxiety. The results were compared with those for a control group who did not use MDMA. Relative to the control group, both user groups were found to be impaired in some aspects of central executive functioning. Also, there were significant group differences on the measures of anxiety (users were more anxious) and on arousal (previous users scoring higher on the arousal measure relative to current users). Users processed information as quickly as non-users but less accurately. Some possible mediators of the above group differences are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Hallucinogens / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Memory Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Memory, Short-Term / drug effects*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / adverse effects*


  • Hallucinogens
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine