A group of 125 healthy young adults was given a memory battery 1 hour
after administration of alprazolam (0.5 and 1.0 mg), buspirone (5 and 10
mg), and placebo under single-dose, double-blind conditions. On the
wordlist recall battery and a 24-hour retest, alprazolam appeared to impair
acquisition and retention in dosages of 1.0 mg; buspirone did not adversely
affect test performance at either dosage. On the basis of a 3-stage model
of memory, a neuroantomical/neurophysiological model is proposed to explain
the selective effects of the benzodiazepines on memory function.