Unaware Learning Versus Preserved Learning in Pharmacologic Amnesia: Similarities and Differences

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The differences between learning in lorazepam (LOR)-or scopolamine (SCOP)-induced amnesia and learning in unaware drug-free normal subjects were examined. The drugs produced impairment in free recall, but did not affect digit span or word retrieval. In a verbal version, but not a motor version, of the serial reaction time task, the subjects who received SCOP or higher dose LOR showed impairment of sequence-specific learning. Subjects who received placebo had no such impairment. In the stem completion paradigm, higher dose LOR, but not SCOP, impaired performance. In a tachistoscopic word identification task, neither drug interfered with repetition priming. Unaware learning and drug-induced amnesic learning were thus dissociable. These findings disconfirm the hypothesis that unaware learning and drug-induced amnesic learning are analogous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1029
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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