The acute effects of d-amphetamine and d-methamphetamine on ERP components in humans
While a number of behavioural studies have been conducted to investigate the acute effects of amphetamines on tasks of attention and information processing, there is currently a scarcity of research concerning their electrophysiological effects in healthy adults. It is also unclear as to whether amphetamines exert effects on stimulus evaluation or response selection. In two studies, independent groups of twenty healthy illicit stimulant users aged between 21 and 32 years were administered 0.42 mg/kg d-amphetamine versus placebo, and 0.42 mg/kg d-methamphetamine versus placebo respectively, and completed an auditory oddball task on two separate testing days. A 62-channel EEG was recorded during the completion of the task, and the effects of amphetamines on N200 and P300 ERP components were analysed. d-amphetamine significantly decreased reaction time, improved accuracy, and reduced the latency of the P300 component relative to placebo, while having no effect on the N200 component. d-methamphetamine had no effect on reaction time, accuracy or the P300 component, but reduced the amplitude of the N200 component, relative to placebo. It was concluded that there is tentative support to suggest that d-amphetamine at a dose of 0.42 mg/kg may enhance speed of information processing while d-methamphetamine at a dose of 0.42 mg/kg may reflect changes to stimulus evaluation.