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Volume 6, Pages 1460-1465
Mini-Review Article

Anterograde and Retrograde Effects of Benzodiazepines on Memory

Laboratoire Neurosciences Cognitives, UMR CNRS 5106 Univ. Bordeaux1, Bat Biologie Animale, Avenue des Facultés 33405 Talence-Cédex, France

Received 14 August 2006; Revised 9 October 2006; Accepted 11 October 2006

Academic Editor: Wim E. Crusio

Copyright © 2006 Daniel Beracochea.


Benzodiazepines are known as “acquisition-impairing” molecules, and their effects on anterograde memory processes are well described. In contrast, the impact of benzodiazepines on retrograde memory and, more particularly, on retrieval processes, is only marginally studied. This mini-review provides an overlook of the main studies evidencing an effect of benzodiazepines on retrograde memory, both in humans and animals, with special emphasis on retrieval processes. The conditions for the emergence of the benzodiazepine-induced retrieval impairments are also discussed.