By C. W. M. Whitty and O. L. Zangwill (Eds.)
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Additional resources for Amnesia. Clinical, Psychological and Medicolegal Aspects
Certainly if performance at the longest retention interval is accepted as the most natural and least complicated measure of longterm retention, then the findings do not suggest more rapid forgetting of what has been learnt by amnesics than by controls. 0 0 C«---_ 1 ^■« C 2 Days Figure 9. Trials to learn particular paired associates on successive days. For both groups, items learnt correctly by Korsakoff patients on Day 1 (C) and items not learnt correctly by Korsakoff patients on Day 1 (I) are plotted separately.
Although this effect is quite clear, it is not clear that relearning of initially correct items was as fast among the Korsakoffs as among the alcoholic controls. The suggestion by these authors that material which does get processed into the long-term memory of Korsakoff patients is retained in an almost normal fashion should perhaps be treated with caution. It is possible that items which were learnt on the first day were the easier items and would therefore more readily be relearnt after a delay and would be subject to more rapid cumulative learning between days.
In the second study (Weiskrantz and Warrington, 1970b) training was conducted by showing subjects the first two letters of each of the five-letter test words and asking them to guess the word. Following wrong guesses, the first three letters and then if necessary the complete word were shown. An errorless trial was a trial in which all words were correctly guessed on the basis of the first two letters. Following a retention interval of one hour, subjects were retrained to the same criterion and a savings score computed.