Reduced binocular depth inversion in regular cannabis users

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jul;75(4):789-93. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(03)00140-0.


The binocular depth inversion illusion (BDII) has been shown to be a sensitive measure of impaired visual information processing under conditions including cannabinoid-intoxicated states, alcohol withdrawal, sleep deprivation, and in patients with positive symptoms of schizophrenia. This study assessed whether the BDII could detect subtle cognitive impairment due to regular cannabis use by comparing 10 regular cannabis users and 10 healthy controls from the same community sources, matched for age, sex, and premorbid IQ. Subjects were also compared on measures of executive functioning, memory, and personality. Regular cannabis users were found to have significantly higher BDII scores for inverted images. This was not due to a problem in the primary processing of visual information, as there was no significant difference between the groups for depth perception of normal images. There was no relationship between BDII scores for inverted images and time since last dose, suggesting that the measured impairment of BDII more closely reflected chronic than acute effects of regular cannabis use. There were no significant differences between the groups for other neuropsychological measures of memory or executive function. A positive relationship was found between EPQ-R-psychoticism and cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol use. Cannabis users also used significantly larger amounts of alcohol. However, no relationship was found between BDII scores and drug use other than cannabis or psychoticism. Compared to the other neuropsychological tests used, the BDII appears to be a more sensitive tool for the detection of subtle impairments in visual information processing related to chronic cannabis use.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cannabis / adverse effects*
  • Cognition Disorders / chemically induced
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Vision Disparity / drug effects*
  • Vision Disparity / physiology