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Effect of chlorpromazine (largactil) on Porteus maze performance Quinn, Michael James


This study was designed to assess the effect of chlorpromazine, a "tranquilizing" drug on Porteus Maze Performance, and to find whether such effect was permanent or transitory. The drug's effect on clinical behavior was also evaluated. Subjects were 44 adult, male, chronic psychotics from the Mental Hospital, British Columbia. Each pair was matched exactly on initial Maze scores and as closely as possible for age, hospital duration, education, occupation, and marital status. All subjects: had been diagnosed as schizophrenic; had not had chlorpromazine previously; had not been operated on psychosurgically; had been hospitalized for at least three years; showed no evidence of organic brain disease. Experimental subjects were selected by random method. The L-M Fergus Falls Behavior Rating Scale was used to evaluate clinical behavior. The experimental group received 300 mg. daily of chlorpromazine for 30 days, and the control group received 300 mg. daily of placebos for the same period. Maze scores and Behavior ratings were obtained for each subject before medication, during medication, and after medication. The results were treated statistically to find if there were any significant differences between the two groups. The conclusions were that chlorpromazine had no significant effect on either Maze performance or clinical behavior. The results were in the expected direction but the Maze decrement and the clinical Improvement attributable to chlorpromazine were too slight to have statistical significance. It was tentatively-concluded: 1. that Maze decrements resulting from chlorpromazine are transitory; 2. that a decline in clinical behavior shown by the control group was due to placebo effect; 3. that the maximum effects of chlorpromazine were not achieved due to the composition of the group, the moderate dose, and the short duration of treatment.

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