The Italian Journal of Neurological Sciences

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 193–198 | Cite as

Avoidance conditioning in amnesia: a single case experimental study

  • Blundo C. 
  • Ricci C. 
Case Reports
  • 31 Downloads

Abstract

We present a single case study of avoidance conditioning in a seriously amnesic patient with bilateral ischemic lesions of the brain. A four-path maze was used for conditioning. The procedure consisted in an aversive stimulus that the patient received every time he traced one of the four maze-paths connected to an electric shock generator with a stylus. Using a single case experimental design A-B-A, we found that the patient learned to avoid the path connected to the electric shock, although he never showed awareness of this. Our study confirms once again that conditioning is one of the residual learning capabilities in amnesic patients. Different neural systems are probably involved in conditioning processes.

Key-Words

Amnesia conditioning procedural memory 

Sommario

Gli autori descrivono uno studio su caso singolo di evitamento condizionato in un grave amnesico affetto da lesioni ischemiche cerebrali bilaterali. Per il condizionamento venne usato un labirinto a quattro vie ed il paziente riceveva uno stimolo avversativo ogni volta che con uno stilo percorreva una delle vie collegata a un generatore di schock elettrici. Attraverso un disegno sperimentale A-B-A è stato possibile dimostrare come il paziente imparò ad evitare la via connessa allo shock elettrico pur senza averne nessuna consapevolezza. L'esperimento rappresenta una ulteriore conferma che nei soggetti amnesici il condizionamento costituisce una delle capacità di apprendimento residue. È ipotizzabile che differenti sistemi neurali siano interessati nei processi di condizionamento.

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Copyright information

© Masson Italia Periodici 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Blundo C. 
    • 1
  • Ricci C. 
    • 2
  1. 1.Divisione di NeurologiaOspedale S. CamilloRomaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di PsicologiaUniversità di RomaItaly

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