Implicit memory and the formation of new associations in nondemented parkinson′s disease individuals and individuals with senile dementia of the alzheimer type: A serial reaction time (SRT) investigation

F. Richard Ferraro, David A. Balota, Lisa T. Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

177 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using the serial reaction time (SRT) task developed by Nissen and Bullemer (1987, Cognitive Psychology, 19, 1-32), implicit memory performance was examined in four groups of subjects: nondemented healthy aged individuals; nondemented Parkinson”s disease individuals; very mildly demented senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT) individuals; and mildly demented SDAT individuals. The SRT task involved four blocks of a repeated 10-item keypress sequence that tapped general skill development along with a fifth block of a nonrepeated sequence that presumably reflected the impact of switching from a learned set of associations (developed during the first four blocks) to a novel sequence. The increase in response latency from the fourth repeated block to the fifth nonrepeated block was used as the reflection of implicit learning. The results revealed preserved implicit memory performance in the very mildly demented individuals compared to that of the age-matched control individuals. However, the mildly demented SDAT individuals and the nondemented Parkinson”s disease individuals showed reliably less implicit learning, compared to the age-matched control individuals. Differences between the past studies using the SRT task to tap implicit memory performance in SDAT individuals and the present study are discussed in some detail. We conclude that nondemented Parkinson”s disease individuals and mildly demented SDAT individuals produce some deficit in the formation of new associations in implicit memory, as measured by the SRT task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-180
Number of pages18
JournalBrain and Cognition
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes

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