To investigate the effects of acute Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) administration on steady state visually evoked potentials (SSVEPs) during completion of working memory and continuous performance tasks.
A randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled, balanced, cross-over trial was conducted in middle-aged volunteers aged between 40 and 60 years. Participants were administered 200 mg P. quinquefolius and placebo on two separate testing sessions. Six-h post-dose participants completed spatial working memory (SWM) and continuous performance (CP) tasks while SSVEP from a diffuse task-irrelevant 13 Hz flicker was recorded.
During SWM retrieval, P. quinquefolius was associated with significantly reduced prefrontal SSVEP latency. There were no significant treatment effects on CP nor behavioural performance of either task.
These findings provide preliminary evidence of increased recruitment of prefrontal brain regions during working memory processing following a single acute dose of P. quinquefolius.
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