Patients with alcoholic Korsakoff's syndrome, Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease or right-hemisphere damage were administered a picture recognition task in which they attempted to associate specific human and animal figures with particular scenic backgrounds. Under one condition (no-story), no explicit verbal cues were provided to help the patients associate the figures with the scenes; in a second condition, stories linking the figures to the background scenes were read to the patients during the study period. Although all four patient groups were impaired in picture-context recognition under the no-story condition, the groups differed significantly in their ability to use the stories to improve their pictorial memory. The Huntington and right-hemisphere patient's picture recognition showed significant improvement when stories were provided, whereas the Korsakoff and Alzheimer patients failed to use this verbal material in a productive manner. The groups also differed in their tendency to make intrusion (i.e., perservative) errors on the picture-context recognition task. These group differences may be related to the combination of language, cognitive and motivational deficits associated with each disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience