Chunking to improve verbal forward spans in Korsakoff's syndrome

El Mohamad Haj, Roy Kessels, Laurent Urso, Jean Louis Nandrino
Applied Neuropsychology. Adult 2018 September 5, : 1-8
Chunking is a mnemonic strategy that involves organizing information into appropriate units. Our article examined the use of this strategy on forward and backward span performance in Korsakoff's syndrome. Fifteen patients with Korsakoff's syndrome and 17 age-and-education matched healthy controls participated to the study. Digit span performance (both forward and backward) was tested before and after chunking training. Results demonstrated an increased performance on the forward spans after chunking training in the patients with Korsakoff's syndrome, but no beneficial effect was observed on the backward spans in these participants. Controls demonstrated a chunking effect on both forward and backward span performance. Our findings suggest that a simple training in chunking may be useful as part of a cognitive strategy training for improving working memory performance in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome.

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