Effects of amoxapine and imipramine on evoked potentials in the Continuous Performance Test in patients with affective disorder

Neuropsychobiology. 1988;20(1):15-22. doi: 10.1159/000118467.


Twenty patients with major depressive disorder were studied with evoked potential (EP) topographic mapping after receiving placebo, imipramine, or amoxapine for 2 days in a random-assignment, double-blind design. Patients performed the Continuous Performance Test (CPT), a visual vigilance test. The stimuli were the digits 0-9, with 0 a target to be responded to with a button press. EPs were recorded from 32 channels and were averaged separately for detected and undetected targets and for false positives and correctly identified nontargets (no button press). Twenty-one normal controls were also tested. Amoxapine enhanced N120 amplitude in midline parietal and right parietal cortex where selective attention effects have been found to be greatest in studies of normal controls. Both amoxapine and imipramine enhanced differences in P200 between target and nontarget stimuli in comparison to placebo, with amoxapine differences again being greatest over midline parietal locations. CPT performance was significantly better on amoxapine than placebo.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amoxapine / therapeutic use*
  • Attention / drug effects*
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Dibenzoxazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imipramine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Tests
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Dibenzoxazepines
  • Imipramine
  • Amoxapine