Chronic misuse of alcohol affects an integrated neural circuit supporting the formation of associative memories acquired during eyeblink classical conditioning (R. McGlinchey-Berroth et al., 1995). The authors of this study investigated single-cue trace conditioning in amnesic and nonamnesic abstinent alcoholic individuals who either were or were not trained in a single-cue delay conditioning task. Overall, untrained alcoholic participants were severely impaired in acquisition, and alcoholic participants previously trained in single-cue delay conditioning performed similarly to untrained control participants. Individual performance in acquisition varied significantly within task but was relatively stable between the trace and delay tasks; there were nonamnesic and amnesic alcoholic participants who acquired responses at a normal rate in both delay and trace conditioning. The similarity of performances in delay and trace conditioning suggests a common source of impairment across both tasks.
- Associative learning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology