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, 11 (2), 282-9

Association Learning and Recognition Memory in Alcoholic Korsakoff Patients

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Association Learning and Recognition Memory in Alcoholic Korsakoff Patients

M Oscar-Berman et al. Neuropsychology.

Abstract

Association learning and recognition memory were examined in 8 male alcoholic Korsakoff patients (mean age 58), and in the following 4 groups of 10 men: non-Korsakoff alcoholics (mean age 59), nonalcoholic controls (mean age 64), younger alcoholics (mean age 36), and nonalcoholic controls (mean age 37). The tasks were modeled after those used for testing memory functioning in nonhuman primates. Association learning, defined as the ability to distinguish rewarded from equally familiar nonrewarded visual stimuli, was impaired in Korsakoff patients. Korsakoff patients also were impaired on recognition memory-the ability to discriminate familiar from novel items. Results support the view of loss of multiple memory functions in alcoholic amnesia. An effect of aging was indicated by differences in performance levels between younger and older groups of non-Korsakoff participants, although the latter were superior to the Korsakoff patients.

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