The effect of verbal mediators on the pictorial memory of brain-damaged patients

Nelson Butters, Marilyn S. Albert, Daniel S. Sax, Patti Miliotis, Jennifer Nagode, Andrea Sterste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Patients with alcoholic Korsakoff's syndrome, Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease or right-hemisphere damage were administered a picture recognition task in which they attempted to associate specific human and animal figures with particular scenic backgrounds. Under one condition (no-story), no explicit verbal cues were provided to help the patients associate the figures with the scenes; in a second condition, stories linking the figures to the background scenes were read to the patients during the study period. Although all four patient groups were impaired in picture-context recognition under the no-story condition, the groups differed significantly in their ability to use the stories to improve their pictorial memory. The Huntington and right-hemisphere patient's picture recognition showed significant improvement when stories were provided, whereas the Korsakoff and Alzheimer patients failed to use this verbal material in a productive manner. The groups also differed in their tendency to make intrusion (i.e., perservative) errors on the picture-context recognition task. These group differences may be related to the combination of language, cognitive and motivational deficits associated with each disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-323
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of verbal mediators on the pictorial memory of brain-damaged patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this