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Effects of marijuana on visuospatial working memory: an fMRI study in young adults.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Jun; 210(3):429-38.P

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

The effects of marijuana use on visuospatial working memory were investigated in 19-21-year-olds using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

METHODS

Participants were members of the Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study, a longitudinal study that collected a unique body of information on participants from infancy to young adulthood including: prenatal drug history, detailed cognitive/behavioral performance, and current and past drug usage. This information allowed for the measurement of an unprecedented number of potentially confounding drug exposure variables including: prenatal marijuana, nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine exposure and offspring alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine use. Ten marijuana users and 14 nonusing controls performed a visuospatial 2-back task while fMRI blood oxygen level-dependent response was examined.

RESULTS

Despite similar task performance, marijuana users had significantly greater activation in the inferior and middle frontal gyri, regions of the brain normally associated with visuospatial working memory. Marijuana users also had greater activation in the right superior temporal gyrus, a region of the brain not typically associated with visuospatial working memory tasks.

CONCLUSIONS

These results suggest that marijuana use leads to altered neural functioning during visuospatial working memory after controlling for other prenatal and current drug use. This alteration appears to be compensated for by the recruitment of blood flow in additional brain regions. It is possible that this compensation may not be sufficient in more real-life situations where this type of processing is required and thus deficits may be observed. Awareness of these neural physiological effects of marijuana in youth is critical.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5, Canada. asmith@uottawa.caNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20401748

Citation

Smith, Andra M., et al. "Effects of Marijuana On Visuospatial Working Memory: an fMRI Study in Young Adults." Psychopharmacology, vol. 210, no. 3, 2010, pp. 429-38.
Smith AM, Longo CA, Fried PA, et al. Effects of marijuana on visuospatial working memory: an fMRI study in young adults. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010;210(3):429-38.
Smith, A. M., Longo, C. A., Fried, P. A., Hogan, M. J., & Cameron, I. (2010). Effects of marijuana on visuospatial working memory: an fMRI study in young adults. Psychopharmacology, 210(3), 429-38. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-010-1841-8
Smith AM, et al. Effects of Marijuana On Visuospatial Working Memory: an fMRI Study in Young Adults. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010;210(3):429-38. PubMed PMID: 20401748.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Effects of marijuana on visuospatial working memory: an fMRI study in young adults. AU - Smith,Andra M, AU - Longo,Carmelinda A, AU - Fried,Peter A, AU - Hogan,Matthew J, AU - Cameron,Ian, Y1 - 2010/04/20/ PY - 2009/11/16/received PY - 2010/03/16/accepted PY - 2010/4/20/entrez PY - 2010/4/20/pubmed PY - 2011/1/12/medline SP - 429 EP - 38 JF - Psychopharmacology JO - Psychopharmacology (Berl.) VL - 210 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVES: The effects of marijuana use on visuospatial working memory were investigated in 19-21-year-olds using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). METHODS: Participants were members of the Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study, a longitudinal study that collected a unique body of information on participants from infancy to young adulthood including: prenatal drug history, detailed cognitive/behavioral performance, and current and past drug usage. This information allowed for the measurement of an unprecedented number of potentially confounding drug exposure variables including: prenatal marijuana, nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine exposure and offspring alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine use. Ten marijuana users and 14 nonusing controls performed a visuospatial 2-back task while fMRI blood oxygen level-dependent response was examined. RESULTS: Despite similar task performance, marijuana users had significantly greater activation in the inferior and middle frontal gyri, regions of the brain normally associated with visuospatial working memory. Marijuana users also had greater activation in the right superior temporal gyrus, a region of the brain not typically associated with visuospatial working memory tasks. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that marijuana use leads to altered neural functioning during visuospatial working memory after controlling for other prenatal and current drug use. This alteration appears to be compensated for by the recruitment of blood flow in additional brain regions. It is possible that this compensation may not be sufficient in more real-life situations where this type of processing is required and thus deficits may be observed. Awareness of these neural physiological effects of marijuana in youth is critical. SN - 1432-2072 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20401748/Effects_of_marijuana_on_visuospatial_working_memory:_an_fMRI_study_in_young_adults_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-010-1841-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -