The effects of desmopressin acetate (DDAVP), a vasopressin analogue, were investigated using the Sternberg Item Recognition Task. This task requires a subject to memorize a target set of up to four digits and then quickly to decide whether or not a given probe was in the original memory set. Fifteen college aged males were used as subjects in this study. Subjects received, in a double blind procedure, 0.6 ml of DDAVP (60 micrograms) or an equal volume of vehicle solution during the first test session. One week later, during the second test session, the hormone-placebo treatments were reversed. The results indicated significant main effects for set size and decision type and an interaction between treatment and session. Treatment with DDAVP during the second but not the first session improved performance at each set size as compared to treatment with the vehicle. These results indicate that DDAVP, combined with experience on this task, improved attentional processes but did not influence memory, which would have been indicated by an interaction between treatment and size of memory set.