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ERIC Number: EJ857292
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0028-3932
Visual and Verbal Learning in a Genetic Metabolic Disorder
Spilkin, Amy M.; Ballantyne, Angela O.; Trauner, Doris A.
Neuropsychologia, v47 n8-9 p1883-1892 Jul 2009
Visual and verbal learning in a genetic metabolic disorder (cystinosis) were examined in the following three studies. The goal of Study I was to provide a normative database and establish the reliability and validity of a new test of visual learning and memory (Visual Learning and Memory Test; VLMT) that was modeled after a widely used test of verbal learning and memory (California Verbal Learning Test; CVLT). One hundred seventy-two neurologically intact individuals ages 5 years through 50 years were administered the VLMT and the CVLT. Normative data were collected and the results suggested that the VLMT is a reliable and valid new measure of visual learning and memory. The aim of Study II was to examine possible dissociations between verbal and visual learning and memory performances in individuals with cystinosis as well as to assess changes in performance as individuals with the disorder age. Thirty-seven individuals with cystinosis and 37 matched controls were administered a new test of visual learning and memory (Visual Learning and Memory Test; VLMT) and the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT). Individuals with cystinosis performed at a lower level than controls on almost all indices of visual learning and memory while no differences were found between the groups on the verbal measure. Examination of the results on the VLMT indicated that the visual learning and memory impairment in cystinosis may result from difficulty with processing visual information quickly. Study III aimed to remediate the observed visual learning and memory deficit by implementing an intervention that increased the exposure time for visual stimuli. Fifteen individuals with cystinosis were administered a version of the VLMT in which the stimuli were exposed for 3 s rather than 1 s. Fifteen matched controls were administered the 1-s version of the VLMT. The results of Study III indicated that by increasing the exposure time for each visual stimulus, individuals with cystinosis were able to perform at the same level as control subjects. This is the first study to demonstrate impaired visual learning and spared verbal learning in individuals with cystinosis. These results may provide the foundation for designing cognitive interventions, may lead to further hypotheses regarding the underlying mechanism of the observed visual learning and memory deficit, and have implications for a greater understanding of gene-behavior relationships. (Contains 6 figures and 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A