Preserved category learning in amnesia

Catherine Haslam*, Max Coltheart, Michael Cook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the new learning capacity of an individual suffering from global amnesia. During an initial intensive learning phase, a patient MK was exposed to two categories of novel items: animals and fruits/vegetables. His task was to learn the names of these unfamiliar pictures over a period of 4 weeks and at the end of each week his memory was examined using recall and matching-to-sample tests. No evidence of new learning was found using these methods. A series of binary forced-choice tasks was then administered as an alternative means of accessing information. Using this paradigm MK successfully discriminated between items in different categories. However, MK was unable to access the specific knowledge required to discriminate between items in the same category. This finding of preserved categorical and impaired exemplar knowledge in an amnesic patient is discussed in relation to the literature on semantic memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-347
Number of pages11
JournalNeurocase
Volume3
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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    Haslam, C., Coltheart, M., & Cook, M. (1997). Preserved category learning in amnesia. Neurocase, 3(5), 337-347.