Dancing hot on Ecstasy: Physical activity and thermal comfort ratings are associated with the memory and other psychobiological problems reported by recreational MDMA users

A. C. Parrott, J. Rodgers, T. Buchanan, J. Ling, T. Heffernan, A. B. Scholey

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Background: Non-drug factors such as ambient temperature can heighten the adverse effects of MDMA (3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine) in animals. We assessed whether dancing and feeling hot on Ecstasy would be associated with more psychobiological problems in recreational users. Methods: In an internet study, 206 unpaid participants (modal age 16-24) reported that they had used recreational Ecstasy/MDMA. They completed a drug use questionnaire, the Prospective Memory Questionnaire (PMQ), questions about dancing and feeling hot when on Ecstasy, and psychobiological problems afterwards. Results: Those who danced 'all the time' when on Ecstasy, reported significantly more PMQ memory problems than the less intensive dancers. Prolonged dancing was also associated with more complaints of depression, memory problems, concentration and organizational difficulties afterwards. Feeling hot when on Ecstasy was associated with poor concentration in the comedown period, and with mood fluctuation and impulsivity off-drug. PMQ long-term problems demonstrated a significant curvilinear relationship with thermal self-ratings; more memory problems were noted by those who felt very hot, and by those who did not feel hot when on Ecstasy. Conclusions: Non-drug factors such as dancing and feeling hot are associated with the incidence of psychobiological problems reported by recreational Ecstasy/MDMA users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-298
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Ecstasy
  • Exercise
  • Heat
  • MDMA
  • Memory

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