Can There Be A Relationship Between Ecstasy

And Memory In The Human Body Essay, Research Paper

Nadia A Shash Earlywine/ Todd Haskell

Can there be a Relationship between Ecstasy and Memory in the Human Body?

Target Article: Parrott, A.C & Lasky, J. (1998) Ecstasy (MDMA) effects

upon mood and cognition: before, during and after a Saturday night dance.

Psychopharmacology, 139, 261-268.

Additional Article: Parrot, A.C., Lees, A., Garnham, N.J., Jones, M., &

Wesnes, K. (1998). Cognitive performance in recreational users of MDMA of ?ecstasy?:

evidence for memory deficits. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 12, 79-83.

Rationale and Variables: The Experiment that was conducted in class

determined the affects of ?ecstasy? or MDMA on the participants? memory.

In addition to testing for their ability to recall information it also looked at

the number of false memory that were related to the actual word ?slow? in

the class study. In the experiment Dr. Earleywine used a list of words that were

to be memorized, and recall in a given time. This study is related to another

experiment conducted by A.C Parrott and J. Lasky. In their study they looked at

the effects of ?ecstasy? or MDMA on mood and cognition. They tested three

groups: non- MDMA, novice-MDMA users, and regular MDMA users. They used

different methods to test the three groups, included in the methods was word

recall, which was also used in the class study by Dr. Earleywine. The result

from that experiment showed that ?ecstasy? or MDMA users did have memory

problems. Another study was also conducted by A.C. Parrott, A. Leess, N.J

Garnham M. Jones, and K. Wesnes, which was relate also to the other experiments.

This experiment was conducted using three groups: non-MDMA, novice-MDMA and

regular MDMA users. They used series of methods to conduct their study, and

found their results similar to the earlier study. Analyzing the finding of the

two studies, Dr. Earleywine decided to do a study with the mind set of making a

connection between the rates of intrusions that participants who have used MDMA,

compared with the rate of intrusions with participants, who did not use MDMA.

The independent variables were the two groups MDMA users and non-MDMA users, and

the dependent variables are the intrusions, and words recalled.

Methods: The data for the experiment was collected form students that were

taking psychology at University of Southern California. The participants

included 145 women and 92 men. The ethnicity background included Caucasian,

African/Caribbean, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, Native American, and others,

which were not specified. The age of the participants averaged 19.578 years. The

procedure of experiment started when Dr. Earleywine distributed the surveys to

the participants. In the survey, questions regarding ecstasy and other drugs

were asked. The participants were asked to put a check next to statements that

were true to them. In the statement the participants were asked if they used

MDMA in there life time or if they have never used it. They were also asked

their race, age, sex and year in school. When the participants completed the

questioner, Dr. Earleywine read a list of 16 words, pausing a few seconds

between each word. When he was done reading the list, there was a 30-seconds

period of silence in the lecture room. After the 30-secondes, the participants

were asked to recall words that they believed were read and to write them on the

back of one of the surveys.

Results: The study that was conducted produced results that were not very

significant to our predicament. We predicted that the data we would receive

would back up the two studies that were conducted, and would also be strong

enough to make a statement of it?s own. But our prediction was far form

backing up the two articles that we read. It was stated that 63.7% never used

MDMA and 36.3% used MDMA in their lifetime. When the data was analyzed between

the two groups, for intrusions and target intrusions they were identical for the

most part. The MDMA users in our study were not more likely to make target

intrusions. In the recall area of the study, the non-MDMA users recalled an

average of 8.8600 words out of 16, and MDMA users averaged 8.1125 words. For the

intrusion part of the study the non-MDMA users made 1.0200 intrusions on average

and the MDMA users averaged 1.0000 intrusions. This result for the intrusion was

so similar it would not be considered significant to make any conclusion in the


Discussion: the result in the study showed that there was less than 1 word

difference between two groups regarding the number of words recalled out of 16.

The result that was collected in the study for the most part makes little

connection between MDMA and memory. The data that was received could not be

analyzed, because the differences between the two are very small to make any

conclusion. The result that we received compared to the two articles is very

different. This could be due to the way the experiment was conducted in the

psychology class. The study was conducted similarly to that of Parrott and Lasky,

the results could have been different. In their study, the subject groups: non-MDMA,

novice MDMA, and regular MDMA users, were determined after a screening process.

There was a set standard to define the three different groups. Also, the study

could have been different if they followed the procedure of the Parrott, Lees,

Garnham, Jones and Wesnes study. In their study, the participants for the three

groups were defined and tested to line up with the participant?s answers of

classification. In the study that was conducted in class the subject were not

classified clearly, and our result turned out differently than the two

experiments. There was also another limitation that affected our result, 7 of

the 237 people did not participant in the recall part of the study. It should be

noted that six out of seven participants had used MDMA in their lifetime. This

fact compared to the number of students that participated, can limit the

accuracy of the results collected.



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