Oxycodone lengthens reproductions of suprasecond time intervals in human research volunteers.
Author(s): Gooch CM, Rakitin BC, Cooper ZD, Comer SD, Balsam PD
Affiliation(s): Department of Neuroscience, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122, USA. email@example.com
Publication date & source: 2011-08, Behav Pharmacol., 22(4):354-61.
Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Oxycodone, a popularly used opioid for treating pain, is widely abused. Other drugs of abuse have been shown to affect time perception, which, in turn, may affect sensitivity to future consequences. This may contribute to continued use. This study evaluated the effect of oxycodone on time perception in normal healthy volunteers. For this within-subject, double-blind design study, participants performed a temporal reproduction task before and after receiving placebo or oxycodone (15 mg, orally) over six outpatient sessions. Participants were first trained with feedback to reproduce three standard intervals (1.1, 2.2, and 3.3 s) in separate blocks by matching response latency from a start signal to the duration of that block's standard interval. During testing, participants were instructed to reproduce the three intervals from memory without feedback before and after drug administration. Oxycodone significantly lengthened time estimations for the two longer intervals relative to placebo. These results suggest that opioids alter temporal processing for intervals greater than 1 s, raising questions about the effect of these drugs on the valuation of future consequences.