Use of endogenous event-related potentials (ERP) in the evaluation of psychotropic substances: towards an ERP profile of drug effects.

Abstract

Although endogenous event-related potentials (ERPs) have been successfully used in psychology, they have largely been neglected in the study of psychotropic substances. In the present paper an overview is given of the diversified concepts of ERP research and useful adaptations of these approaches to psychopharmacological questions are shown. In particular, the influence of drugs on the various stages of information processing and the description of individual differences in drug reactions seem suitable for the use of endogenous ERPs. Other possible uses of ERPs in psychopharmacological research are briefly discussed and the problems of the technique are pointed out. It is concluded that future research should aim at the recording of 'ERP profiles' of a drug, monitoring pharmacological effects on the different levels of cognitive functions by a set of selected paradigms.

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