Dopamine can make our working memory more or less flexible

Dopamine drugs are used to treat Parkinson’s disease, and alter a wide range of brain functions. One role of dopamine might be to make information we are currently holding in mind more stable — we are less likely to get distracted. We showed that this effect is crucially dependent on our initial memory capacity. People with worse memory actually showed the opposite effect of dopamine: it made them more distractible — in a new paper in J Psychopharm with Sean Fallon, Kinan Muhammed and Masud Husain.