The advantage of errorless learning for the acquisition of new concepts' labels in alcoholics


Journal Article


Pitel, A. L., Perruchet, P., Vabret, F., Desgranges, B., Eustache, F., Beaunieux, H.




The advantage of errorless learning for the acquisition of new concepts' labels in alcoholics

Journal / Livre / Conférence

Psychological Medicine


Background. Previous findings revealed that the acquisition of the labels of new semantic concepts was impaired in alcoholic patients. The use of errorless learning may therefore allow them to improve learning performance. However, the flexibility of the new knowledge and the memory processes involved in errorless learning remain unclear.
Methods. New concepts' labels acquisition was examined in 15 alcoholic patients and 15 control participants in an errorless learning condition compared with 19 alcoholic patients and 19 control subjects in a trial-and-error learning condition. The flexibility of the new information was evaluated using different photos from those used in the learning sessions but representing the same concepts. All the participants carried out an additional explicit memory task and an implicit memory task was also performed by subjects in the errorless learning condition.
Results. The alcoholic group in the errorless condition differed significantly from the alcoholic group in the trial-and-error one but did not differ from the two control groups. There was no significant difference between results in the learning test and the flexibility task. Finally, in the alcoholic group, naming score in the learning test was correlated with the explicit memory score but not with the implicit memory one.
Conclusions. Thanks to errorless learning, alcoholics improved their abilities to learn new concepts' labels. Moreover, new knowledge acquired with errorless learning was flexible. The errorless learning advantage may rely on explicit memory processes rather than on implicit ones in these alcohol-dependent patients presenting only mild-to-moderate deficits of explicit memory capacities.








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