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Comparative Study
, 25 (3), 324-34

Cognitive Estimation and Affective Judgments in Alcoholic Korsakoff Patients

Comparative Study

Cognitive Estimation and Affective Judgments in Alcoholic Korsakoff Patients

Matthias Brand et al. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol.


Alcoholic Korsakoff patients have their most marked deficits in memory, but may exhibit problems in further cognitive and behavioral domains, particularly in so-called frontal lobe functions and on the emotional level. Cognitive estimation is among the frontal lobe-associated functions; nevertheless, the underlying processes of estimation and estimation deficits are still unknown. Additionally, though affective judgments were found to be disturbed in Korsakoff patients one can question whether this result is due to a deficiency in emotional processing itself, or whether deteriorated basic processes underlying all kinds of judgment tasks result in affective judgment errors. In this study, possible relations and underlying cognitive processes of affective and nonaffective judgments (cognitive estimates) were analyzed in a large sample of 39 Korsakoff patients. A neuropsychological test battery was administered together with a new test for cognitive estimation consisting of four dimensions ('size,' 'weight,' 'quantity,' and 'time') and an affective judgment task comprising negative, neutral, and positive words. The Korsakoff patients' results showed marked deficits concerning both, cognitive estimation and affective judgments. These deficits were highly intercorrelated and performance in both tasks was related to basic (e.g., information processing speed) and higher cognitive functions (executive functions and memory), suggesting a common basis in cognitive estimation and in affective judgments in Korsakoff syndrome.

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