[abstract] AN ANALYSIS OF NARCOSIS USING AN INFORMATION PROCESSING MODEL OF HUMAN PERFORMANCE.

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[abstract] AN ANALYSIS OF NARCOSIS USING AN INFORMATION PROCESSING MODEL OF HUMAN PERFORMANCE.

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Title: [abstract] AN ANALYSIS OF NARCOSIS USING AN INFORMATION PROCESSING MODEL OF HUMAN PERFORMANCE.
Author: Fowler, B; Wright, G; White, P; Ackles, KN
Abstract: Numerous authors have suggested that nitrous oxide (N2O) affects short term memory (STM). However, Fowler (1971) has demonstrated that STM is not affected by hyperbaric air. These results are difficult to reconcile with the common assumption that N2O and the inert gases exert identical narcotic effects. Accordingly, the dichotic listening test previously used by Fowler was given to 6 Ss who breathed 35 percent N2O. Identical results to those found with hyperbaric air were obtained. This discrepancy can be explained by an information processing model if two facts are noted. First, a common effect on long term memory (LTM) has been demonstrated for both inert gas narcosis and N2O. Second, all the STM tests previously used with N2O allow rehearsal of the material prior to recall but the dichotic listening test does not. According to the model, rehearsal leads to storage of material in LTM and therefore these so-called STM tests measured a combination of STM and LTM and it was a deficit in the latter which affected recall. To validate this argument a memory task, immediate free recall of a word list, was chosen which could be broken down into STM and LTM components by analyzing recall in terms of serial position. Using 8 Ss it was found that the end portion (recency) of the serial position curve, representing STM, was not affected by 35 percent N2O but the middle and beginning (primacy) portions, representing LTM, were affected.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/4290
Date: 1978

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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