The effect of recall cuing on the post-ECT anterograde memory dysfunction

Fudge, Judy Matilda (1978) The effect of recall cuing on the post-ECT anterograde memory dysfunction. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

An experiment was conducted to determine if the memory loss following electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was due to acceleration of loss of material from storage or to impairment in the ability to retrieve that still in storage. The method used to distinguish between these two possibilities was recall cuing, which should serve to provide access to any material retained. Twenty psychiatric inpatients heard equivalent lists of words, grouped into five taxonomic categories of three words each, prior to and after a series of bilateral ECT treatments. After each list, two recall periods were given, with three hours between them. Ten subjects were tested by means of free recall, and ten were given category names as cues to aid recall. Recall of words, categories, and words per category dropped significantly after ECT and over the time lapse, but though the administration of ECT resulted in anterograde amnesia, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the amnesia was due to acceleration of forgetting. Thus, a retrieval-failure hypothesis of the post-ECT amnesia was also not supported, and though cuing resulted in higher category recall, it had no effect on word recall, and did not modify the recall loss over time and after ECT. It was concluded that an impairment in retention or retrieval was not a significant part of the post-ECT memory disorder for the present subjects; rather, the disorder was likely a result of difficulty in getting the material to be learned into storage. Large between-subject variability and the possibility that the cuing procedure was not maximally effective for this group of subjects were also discussed in relation to the findings.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10514
Item ID: 10514
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 70-75.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1978
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Electroconvulsive therapy; Recollection (Psychology)

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