Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Method of Vanishing Cues

  • Elizabeth Louise GliskyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1101


The method of vanishing cues refers to a learning technique in which initial letters of words are provided as cues for the retrieval of to-be-learned information. Across successive learning trials, cues are gradually withdrawn or “vanished” until information can be retrieved in the absence of cues.

Historical Background

The method of vanishing cues, as a rehabilitation technique for people with memory disorders, was first reported in 1986 in two papers by Glisky et al. (1986a, b), which demonstrated that people with severe memory impairments were able to learn new computer vocabulary and write simple computer programs. Prior to that time, people with organic amnesia were known to be capable of learning a few discrete pieces of information but were thought to be incapable of acquiring new, complex knowledge of the sort that would be required to operate a computer. The method of vanishing cues was based on new findings at that time showing that amnesic patients were able to...

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References and Readings

  1. Glisky, E. L. (2004). Disorders of memory. In J. Ponsford (Ed.), Cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation: From neurobiology to clinical practice (pp. 100–128). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  2. Glisky, E. L., & Glisky, M. L. (2002). Learning and memory impairments. In P. J. Eslinger (Ed.), Neuropsychological interventions: Clinical research and practice (pp. 137–162). New York: Guildford.Google Scholar
  3. Glisky, E. L., Schacter, D. L., & Tulving, E. (1986a). Learning and retention of computer-related vocabulary in memory-impaired patients: Method of vanishing cues. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 8, 292–312.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Glisky, E. L., Schacter, D. L., & Tulving, E. (1986b). Computer learning by memory-impaired patients: Acquisition and retention of complex knowledge. Neuropsychologia, 24, 313–328.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA