Gruppo Ginestra
TELLING TRUE FROM FALSE: CANNABIS USERS SHOW INCREASED SUSCEPTIBILITY TO FALSE MEMORIES - NATURE.COM MOLECULAR PSYCHIATRY - 31 MARZO 2015

Original Article


Molecular Psychiatry (2015) 20, 772–777 - 31 March 2015

 

J Riba, M Valle, F Sampedro, A Rodríguez-Pujadas, S Martínez-Horta, J Kulisevsky and A Rodríguez-Fornells.

 

• Human Neuropsychopharmacology Group, Sant Pau Institute of Biomedical Research (IIB-Sant Pau), Sant Antoni María Claret 167, Barcelona, Spain;

 

• Centre d'Investigació de Medicaments, Servei de Farmacologia Clínica, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain;

 

• Departament de Farmacologia i Terapèutica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAM, Barcelona, Spain;

 

• Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Modelling and Simulation, IIB-Sant Pau, Sant Antoni María Claret, Barcelona, Spain;

 

• School of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain;

 

• Movement Disorders Unit, Neurology Department, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Barcelona, Spain;

 

• Centro Investigación Biomedica en Red-Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Spain;

 

• Cognition and Brain Plasticity Group (Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute) IDIBELL, l'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain;

 

• Department of Basic Psychology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain;

 

• Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, ICREA, Barcelona, Spain;

 

Correspondence

 

Dr J Riba, Human Neuropsychopharmacology Group, Sant Pau Institute of Biomedical Research (IIB-Sant Pau), IIB-Sant Pau. C/Sant Antoni María Claret, 167, Barcelona 08025, Spain.

 

Abstract

 

Previous studies on the neurocognitive impact of cannabis use have found working and declarative memory deficits that tend to normalize with abstinence. An unexplored aspect of cognitive function in chronic cannabis users is the ability to distinguish between veridical and illusory memories, a crucial aspect of reality monitoring that relies on adequate memory function and cognitive control. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that abstinent cannabis users have an increased susceptibility to false memories, failing to identify lure stimuli as events that never occurred. In addition to impaired performance, cannabis users display reduced activation in areas associated with memory processing within the lateral and medial temporal lobe (MTL), and in parietal and frontal brain regions involved in attention and performance monitoring. Furthermore, cannabis consumption was inversely correlated with MTL activity, suggesting that the drug is especially detrimental to the episodic aspects of memory. These findings indicate that cannabis users have an increased susceptibility to memory distortions even when abstinent and drug-free, suggesting a long-lasting compromise of memory and cognitive control mechanisms involved in reality monitoring.