Errorless learning of prospective memory tasks: an experimental investigation in people with memory disorders

Fish, J. E. , Manly, T., Kopelman, M. D. and Morris, R. G. (2015) Errorless learning of prospective memory tasks: an experimental investigation in people with memory disorders. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 25(2), pp. 159-188. (doi: 10.1080/09602011.2014.921204) (PMID:24894460) (PMCID:PMC4311953)

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The term prospective memory (PM) refers to memory for future intentions. PM problems are frequent in people with cognitive impairment and, because they are central to the realisation of many everyday goals, are important in rehabilitation. Event-based PM tasks (EBPM) are environmentally-cued and have primarily mnemonic demands, whereas time-based PM tasks (TBPM) require self-initiated retrieval, and have greater executive demands. Errorless learning (EL) is an encoding method that results in superior retrospective memory compared with “errorful” learning (EF). As this EL advantage (ELA) likely stems from its reduced explicit memory demands, and there is no such advantage for executive tasks, a greater ELA for EBPM than TBPM was predicted. Fourteen adults with neurological memory impairment completed PM tasks under four counterbalanced conditions: EL of EBPM, EL of TBPM, EF of EBPM, and EF of TBPM. A significant ELA was observed for EBPM (d = .63), but not TBPM (d = –.01). These results extend the evidence for EL within cognitive rehabilitation, by showing for the first time that the method can benefit future action in addition to retrospective memory. The clinical implications are also clear: errorless learning techniques may be usefully employed to support completion of day-to-day EBPM tasks.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors the National Health Service for supporting the study by funding Jessica Fish’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and finally the Department of Psychology at King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, for research funding.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fish, Dr Jessica
Authors: Fish, J. E., Manly, T., Kopelman, M. D., and Morris, R. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1464-0694
Published Online:04 June 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Crown Copyright
First Published:First published in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 25(2): 159-188
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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