PMID: 9726274Sep 3, 1998

Effects of cues on memory in alcoholics and controls

Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
Sara Jo NixonO A Parsons


This study was conducted to determine whether alcoholics' memory difficulties are due, in part, to access (retrieval) or to availability (retention) deficits. Forty-four alcoholics (n = 20 females) and 44 controls (n = 22 females) learned a paired associate list consisting of 12 adjective-CCC trigram pairs. Half of the subjects in each group learned the list to a low degree of learning (DOL; 4/12 pairs); the remainder to a high DOL (8/12 pairs). Two distinct environmental contexts (providing implicit cues) were used during acquisition. Subjects then completed a cued recall (an explicit cue) test in either the same or a different room. Alcoholics were significantly inferior in the acquisition phase on trials required to reach criterion, regardless of DOL required [F(1,68) = 10.92, p = 0.002]. The main effect for implicit cuing was not significant; similarly, there were no significant interactions. In contrast, the explicit cue manipulation produced a significant group x DOL interaction on the number of trigrams correctly recalled [F = (1,77) = 6.38, p = 0.01]; alcoholics' recall did not benefit from the higher DOL in contrast to a significant improvement in recall by controls. The failure of alcoholics to demonstrate improvement...Continue Reading


Aug 1, 1991·Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research·S W Glenn, O A Parsons
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Related Concepts

Alcohol Amnestic Disorder
Alcohol Abuse
Paired-Associate Learning
Mental Recall
Retention (Psychology)

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