Modeling Midazolam's Effect on the Hippocampus and Recognition Memory

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The benzodiazepine Midazolam causes dense, but temporary, anterograde amnesia, similar to that produced by hippocampal damage. Does the action of Midazolam on the hippocampus cause less storage, or less accurate storage, of information in episodic long-term memory? We used a simple variant of the REM model (18) to fit data collected by Hirshman, Fisher, Henthorn, Arndt, and Passannante (9) on the effects of Midazolam, study time, and normative word-frequency on both yes-no and remember-know recognition memory. That a simple strength model fit well was contrary to the expectations of Hirshman et al. More important, within the Bayesian based REM modeling framework, the data were consistent with the view that Midazolam causes less accurate storage, rather than less storage, of information in episodic memory.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 15, MIT Press, p. 75-82