Scientists from the University of Chicago are developing a prototype for an app, called “Am I Stoned,” to evaluate the effects of cannabis on cognitive ability.
The “Am I Stoned” app was presented on Tuesday at the Emerging Biology conference in California by co-authors Elisa Pabon, a doctoral student, and Harriet de Wit, professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience, The Independent reported.
Pabon and de Wit had volunteers take a pill containing either 0, 7.5 or 15 milligrams of the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC. After two and three hours, the volunteers had to complete a series of tasks, both on a computer and on an iPhone.
One of the tasks on the iPhone included tapping two dots as fast as possible with fingers on the non-dominant hand for 20 seconds.
What the researchers found is that the performance of the individuals, who had consumed the THC pills, was impaired for three out of the four computer tasks and one of the iPhone tasks.
“The tasks included in the application need to be optimized in a way that avoids floor or ceiling effects, practice effects, and baseline variation,” Pabon told Gizmodo.
“Additionally, the tasks should be short and efficient but also long enough to be effective at catching drug effect.”
The researchers, meanwhile, said further research is needed to further fine-tune the app.
The two aim to finish the necessary improvements to the prototype app by summer.[share-btn]