A series of 3-(acylamino)-epsilon-caprolactams and 3-(acylamino)-2-pyrrolidinones was synthesized. Some of these compounds reversed at different degrees electroconvulsive shock- and Scopolamine-induced amnesia, using a step-through passive avoidance in mice. Classical nootropic drugs, i.e., Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, and Piracetam, were used as reference compounds. Within the analyses of data performed, we introduced a new parameter, the confrontation index (CI), which is a function of Mann-Whitney's U statistic. The CI permits a common scale of activity of substances to be generated, independently of probabilistic hypotheses, with higher scores representing higher activities. The most active compounds were characterized by the formylamino and [3-(trifluoromethyl)benzoyl]amino groups in the 3-position of the ring. None of the substances assayed showed any effect on spontaneous behavior and neurovegetative system.