Evidence for executive deficits among users of MDMA (Ecstasy)

J. Fisk, C. Montgomery, P. Murphy, M. Wareing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Random letter generation and computation span are tasks known to load on executive, prefrontal resources. Previous research suggests that Ecstasy users are impaired on random letter generation. The current study, employing a larger sample (44 current Ecstasy users, and 59 non-Ecstasy users), together with more effective statistical controls for other drug use, failed to replicate previous findings. Ecstasy users were unimpaired on all measures of random generation performance. A significant difference was obtained on the computation span measure, with Ecstasy users scoring significantly lower than non-Ecstasy users. This difference remained statistically significant following control for various indicators of the use of other drugs including cannabis. The results are discussed in terms of the potential effects that Ecstasy might have on different component executive processes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-466
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Issue numberPt 4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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