What Can Animal Memory Study Bring to the Assessment of Memory and Cognitive Skills for Intellectual Disability?

  • Fabienne GiulianiEmail author
  • Sophie Pernier
  • Jérôme Favrod
  • François Grasset
  • Françoise Schenk
Original Article


Three case studies are presented to investigate the possibility of evaluating memory and cognitive capacities of severe intellectual disability with attention given to the ecological environment. Two 22-year-old male patients and a 27-year-old male patient, all three with severe intellectual disability with no verbal communication skills, were evaluated with a new and original paradigm adapted to study cognition in humans from experimental paradigms. We developed a test based on animal models to complement the “home” scale of the Adolescent and Adult Psychoeducational Profile (AAPEP), an assessment instrument designed for adolescents and adults with severe developmental disabilities. Results show that the new instrument is helpful, not only to staff members who can better understand the poor performances of their patients in daily life activities but also in the elaboration of individual acquisition plans. These preliminary results demonstrate the interest in developing a larger controlled study and in publishing our procedure.


Intellectual disabilities Cognitive behavior Learning disability Careers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabienne Giuliani
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sophie Pernier
    • 2
  • Jérôme Favrod
    • 3
  • François Grasset
    • 1
    • 2
  • Françoise Schenk
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Consultation of Liaison Psychiatry for Mental Retardation DepartmentCommunity Psychiatry Service, CHUVPrillySwitzerland
  3. 3.Rehabilitation UnitCommunity Psychiatry Service, CHUVPrillySwitzerland
  4. 4.University and Psychiatric Neurosciences CenterPrillySwitzerland

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