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Some Analyses of the Information Processing and Sensory Capacities of Alcoholic Korsakoff Patients

  • Nelson Butters
  • Laird S. Cermak
  • Barbara Jones
  • Guila Glosser
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 59)

Abstract

For the past five years our laboratory has focused upon the factors underlying the amnesic symptoms (i.e., anterograde and retrograde amnesia) displayed by alcoholic Korsakoff patients. Since two comprehensive reviews of these studies have now been published (Cermak and Butters, 1973; Butters and Cermak, 1974), we shall only briefly discuss these findings and then turn to the results of two recent sets of investigations. The first set involves the role of information processing disorders in the memory impairments of alcoholic Korsakoffs and chronic alcoholics. These studies indicate that chronic alcoholics have some of the same cognitive impairments that may play an important role in the Korsakoffs’ amnesic symptoms. The second set of investigations deals with the basic sensory capacities of alcoholic Korsakoff patients. Since the neural structures (n. medialis dorsalis and mammillary bodies) damaged in Korsakoff’s disease have been implicated in the olfactory system, we used psychophysical methods to study the discriminative capacities of these patients in the olfactory, visual, and auditory modalities. The findings of these studies demonstrate a very severe olfactory sensory impairment in alcoholic Korsakoff patients.

Keywords

Chronic Alcoholic Proactive Interference Retrograde Amnesia Mammillary Body Sensory Capacity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nelson Butters
    • 1
  • Laird S. Cermak
    • 1
  • Barbara Jones
    • 1
  • Guila Glosser
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology Service, Boston VA Hospital and Aphasia Research CenterBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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