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See detailDISSOCIATING SHORT-TERM MEMORY AND LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT: THE IMPORTANCE OF ITEM AND SERIAL ORDER INFORMATION
Attout, Lucie ULg; VAN DER KAA, Marie-Anne ULg; GEORGE, Mercédès ULg et al

in Aphasiology (2012), 26(3-4), 355-382

BACKGROUND: Selective verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are rare, and when they appear, they are often associated with a history of aphasia, raising doubts about the selectivity of these deficits ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Selective verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are rare, and when they appear, they are often associated with a history of aphasia, raising doubts about the selectivity of these deficits. Recent models of STM consider that STM for item information depends upon activation of the language system, and hence item STM deficits should be associated with language impairment. By contrast, STM for order information is considered to recruit a specific system, distinct from the language system: this system could be impaired in patients with language-independent STM deficits. AIM: We demonstrate here the power of the item-order distinction to separate STM and language impairments in two brain damaged cases with STM impairment and a history of aphasia. METHODS & PROCEDURES: Recognition and recall STM tasks, maximizing STM for either item or order information were administered to patients MB and CG. OUTCOMES & RESULTS: Patient MB showed mild phonological impairment. As predicted, associated STM deficits were characterized by poor item STM but preserved order STM. On the other hand, patient CG showed no residual language deficits. His STM deficit was characterized by poor order STM but perfectly preserved item STM. CONCLUSIONS: This study presents the first double dissociation between item and order STM deficits, and demonstrates the necessity of this distinction for understanding and assessing STM impairment in patients with and without aphasia. [less ▲]

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See detailThe importance of distinguishing item and order memory for understanding short-term memory deficits in brain-damaged patients
Attout, Lucie ULg; VAN DER KAA, Marie-Anne ULg; GEORGE, Mercédès ULg et al

Poster (2011, October 18)

Selective verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are rare and are often associated with a history of aphasia, raising doubts about the selectivity of these deficits. We explore here the distinction ... [more ▼]

Selective verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are rare and are often associated with a history of aphasia, raising doubts about the selectivity of these deficits. We explore here the distinction between STM for item information (the items and their phonological and semantic characteristics) and STM for order information (the order of items within a list) to separate STM and language impairment. Recent models of STM consider that STM for item information depends upon activation of the language system, and hence item STM deficits should be associated with language impairment. By contrast, STM for order information is considered to recruit a specific system, distinct from the language system. Hence, order STM should be impaired in patients with language-independent STM deficits. We applied this rationale to the exploration of STM profiles of two patients with a history of aphasia, MB and CG. At the time of this study, patient MB showed poor digit and word STM spans associated with a mild impairment at the level of phonological input processing. Patient CG showed poor STM spans with no residual language impairment. A first experiment assessed STM for order and item information, using order and item probe recognition tasks. Patient MB showed severely impaired performance in the item condition (Z=-4.71; p<.001) but a milder deficit in the order condition (Z=-2.17; p<.05). CG on the other hand showed perfectly preserved performance for the item condition (Z=-0.43) but significantly slowed response times for the order condition (Z=-2.20; p<.05). In a second experiment determining item and order error proportions in an immediate serial recall task for six-word lists, MB showed a significantly increased proportion of item errors (Z=-3.24 and -2.6 for positions 5 and 6, respectively; p<.05) but not of order errors (Z=-1.47), while CG showed perfectly preserved item recall (Z=0.22) but an increase of order errors especially in final list positions (Z =-2.57 for position 6; p<.05). A third experiment assessed reconstruction of serial order for digit lists showing perfectly preserved performance in patient MB (Z=1.32) but severely impaired performance in patient CG (Z=-3.49; p<.05). A final experiment assessed new word learning performance, given that STM for order has been shown to be a critical determinant of vocabulary acquisition in children and adults. CG showed impaired new word learning performance in a paired associate word-new word learning experiment (Z=-3.29; p<.05) but not in a word-word learning control experiment (Z=0.13), while MB showed a more general verbal learning impairment (word-nonword: Z=-3.09, p<.05; word-word: Z=-4.8, p<.05). This study provides the first demonstration of a dissociation between STM for order and STM for item information in patients with a history of aphasia, and further shows that patients with residual language impairment are more likely to present impaired STM for item information which is considered to depend on the integrity of the language system. Order STM deficits on the other hand may represent what is commonly referred to as selective STM impairment, highlighting the importance of distinguishing between item and order STM processes when exploring STM deficits in aphasic patients. [less ▲]

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See detailThe importance of short-term memory for order in dissociating short-term memory and language deficits
Attout, Lucie ULg; VAN DER KAA, Marie-Anne ULg; GEORGE, Mercédès ULg et al

Poster (2011, May 27)

Selective verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are rare, and when they appear, they are often associated with a history of aphasia, raising doubts about the selectivity of these deficits. We explore ... [more ▼]

Selective verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are rare, and when they appear, they are often associated with a history of aphasia, raising doubts about the selectivity of these deficits. We explore here the distinction between STM for item information and STM for order information to separate STM and language impairments. Recent models of STM consider that STM for item information depends upon activation of the language system, and hence item STM deficits should be associated with language impairment. By contrast, STM for order information is considered to recruit a specific system, distinct from the language system. In this view, order STM should be impaired in patients with STM deficits that cannot be accounted for by language impairment. We applied this rationale to the exploration of STM profiles of patients MB and CG. Patient MB showed mild phonological impairment and associated STM deficits. As predicted, these were characterized by poor item STM but preserved order STM. Patient CG showed verbal STM deficits with no associated language deficits. His STM deficit was characterized by poor order STM but relatively preserved item STM. This study presents the first double dissociation between item and order STM deficits, demonstrating the necessity of this distinction for understanding selective STM impairment. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 58 (10 ULg)