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2014 Abstracts

The effect of anxiolytic mediation administration on interval timing distracters

Chance Christensen, Utah State University

Life Sciences

Affective disorders such as depression, phobias, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder impair the ability to time in the seconds-to-minutes range, i.e., interval timing. According to the Relative Time-Sharing (RTS) model, presentation of task-irrelevant distracters during a timing task results in a delay in responding suggesting a failure to maintain subjective time in working memory, possibly due to attentional and working memory resources being diverted away from timing. Given that some anxiolytic medications have beneficial effects on attention and working memory, e.g., decreasing emotional response to negative events, we hypothesized that they would result in a decreased effect of distracters on the timekeeping abilities. We investigated the effect of acute administration of anxiolytic medication when anxiety-inducing task-irrelevant distracters were presented during an interval timing task, using methods similar to Matthews et. al. (2012) Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 6(111): 1-12. Results are discussed in relation to the brain circuits involved in RTS of resources, and the pharmacological management of affective disorders.