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. 1984;18 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):51S-61S.
doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1984.tb02582.x.

Attention Tasks as Skills Performance Measures of Drug Effects

Free PMC article

Attention Tasks as Skills Performance Measures of Drug Effects

H Moskowitz. Br J Clin Pharmacol. .
Free PMC article


Both empirical epidemiological data on the causes of traffic accidents and conceptual models of skilled human performance stress the central role of perception and cognition. This paper examines the effects of drugs on two major components of cognitive perceptual performance, namely, concentrated attention or vigilance and divided attention. It is demonstrated that these two types of attention tasks are differentially affected by various drugs, so that sometimes one and sometimes another of these tasks is impaired. Various experimental paradigms to investigate these two attention functions are presented. It is demonstrated that attention tasks are frequently highly sensitive to drug effects, suggesting the importance of examining these functions when investigating the effects of drugs on skills performance.

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