Twenty-one depressive patients (7 males, 14 females, mean age 61.6, range 50–72) participated in an inter- and intraindividual double-blind comparative study between the ACTH 4–9 analogue (ORG 2766), 80 mg daily during 14–28 days, and placebo. The temporal thresholds for detection and recognition of rapidly presented single letters were assessed by a tachistoscopic technique. The results indicate that the peptide has a reducing effect on recognition threshold, and appears to improve automatic, preattentive levels of information processing possibly involved in the transfer of information from the peripheral icon to the cortical centre, i.e. from iconic storage to short-term memory.

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