Dexamphetamine influences funneling illusion based on psychometric score

Faiz M. Kassim, J. H. Mark Lim, Matthew A. Albrecht, Mathew T. Martin-Iverson

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Objectives: Our team previously showed that like the experience of the rubber hand illusion (RHI) in people with schizophrenia and their offspring¸ dexamphetamine administration to healthy volunteers increases the stimulus binding windows (BWs) in RHI. It is not clear if similar expansions of BWs are present for unimodal illusions. Studies have also shown that subjective or objective effects of amphetamine would be linked to between-person variations in personality measures. Therefore, we aimed to examine the effect of dexamphetamine (DEX), a dopamine-releasing stimulant, on illusory perception using unimodal sensory stimuli (Tactile Funneling Illusion [TFI]) across both temporal and spatial variables. We further examined the relationship between changes in psychometric scores and changes in illusion perception induced by dexamphetamine. Methods: Healthy subjects (N = 20) participated in a randomized, double-blind, counter-balanced, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. The effects of dexamphetamine (0.45 mg/kg, PO, q.d.) on funneling and error of spatial localization (EL) were examined using TFI. Psychotomimetic effects were assessed using a battery of psychological measures. Results: Dexamphetamine did not significantly increased the funneling illusion (p = 0.88) or EL (p = 0.5), relative to placebo. However, the degree of change in psychometric scores following dexamphetamine positively correlated with changes in funneling (ρ = 0.48, p = 0.03, n = 20), mainly at 0 ms delay condition (ρ = 0.6, p = 0.004, n = 20). Conclusion: Unlike multimodal illusions, alteration of BWs does not occur for unimodal illusions after administration of a dopamine-releasing agent. However, our findings indicate that moderate release of dopamine, through its psychotomimetic effect, indirectly influences unimodal illusion.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2862
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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