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Implicit memory assessment and its implications for rehabilitation
Brain Impairment, 6(2), 143-144
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Objectives: We plan to develop a reliable and standardised test of implicit memory that can be used to assess people with memory deficits and help in the planning of a rehabilitation programme. Methods: 180 normal controls and 50 people with memory deficits ranging in severity will be included in this study. To test implicit memory ability a perceptual priming task and a word completion task will be administered to both groups. All participants will also perform an explicit memory test (RBMT-E). Performance on both tests will be compared for both groups. Results: The study will enable us to obtain standardised norms for non-injured controls and patients with memory deficits on an implicit memory task. It is hypothesised that the control group will show intact explicit and implicit memory abilities whereas the patient group will show impaired explicit memory but intact or relatively intact implicit memory ability. Conclusions: Implicit memory is presumed to be the most preserved memory system in patients with memory deficits, including patients with traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's or Parkinson' disease, or schizophrenia. Many rehabilitation programmes train new material through accessing information via the implicit memory system. However, implicit memory ability is not currently assessed with reliable and valid methods. There is a need to develop a standardised test of implicit memory that can give reliable information regarding intact implicit skills so that clinicians can incorporate such information into their rehabilitation programmes. Abstract only published - Paper given at the Conference on Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, July 11-12, 2005, Galway Ireland.