The benefits of errorless learning for people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2018 Sep;28(6):984-996. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2016.1216000. Epub 2016 Aug 8.


The aim of this study was to explore whether errorless learning leads to better outcomes than errorful learning in people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and to examine whether accuracy in error recognition relates to any observed benefit of errorless over errorful learning. Nineteen participants with a clinical diagnosis of amnestic MCI were recruited. A word-list learning task was used and learning was assessed by free recall, cued recall and recognition tasks. Errorless learning was significantly superior to errorful learning for both free recall and cued recall. The benefits of errorless learning were less marked in participants with better error recognition ability. Errorless learning methods are likely to prove more effective than errorful methods for those people with MCI whose ability to monitor and detect their own errors is impaired.

Keywords: Errorless learning; error-recognition; executive function; implicit memory; neuropsychology.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / rehabilitation*
  • Cues
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Self Report
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Verbal Learning / physiology*