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Competition between frontal lobe functions and implicit sequence learning: evidence from the long-term effects of alcohol

Competition between frontal lobe functions and implicit sequence learning: evidence from the long-term effects of alcohol

Virag, Marta, Janacsek, Karolina, Horvath, Aniko, Bujdoso, Zoltan, Fabo, Daniel and Nemeth, Dezso (2015) Competition between frontal lobe functions and implicit sequence learning: evidence from the long-term effects of alcohol. Experimental Brain Research, 233 (7). pp. 2081-2089. ISSN 0014-4819 (Print), 1432-1106 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-015-4279-8)

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Abstract

Implicit sequence learning is a fundamental mechanism that underlies the acquisition of motor, cognitive and social skills. The relationship between implicit learning and executive functions are still debated due to the overlapping fronto-striatal networks. According to the framework of competitive neurocognitive networks, disrupting specific frontal lobe functions, such as executive functions, increases performance on implicit learning tasks. The aim of our study was to explore the nature of such a relationship by investigating the effect of long term regular alcohol intake on implicit sequence learning. Since alcohol dependency impairs executive functions, we expected intact or even better implicit learning in patient group compared to the healthy controls based on the competitive relationship between these neurocognitive networks. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the long-term effects of alcohol dependency both on implicit learning and executive functions requiring different but partly overlapping neurocognitive networks. Here we show weaker executive functions but intact implicit learning in the alcohol dependent group compared to the controls. Moreover, we found negative correlation between these functions in both groups. Our results confirm the competitive relationship between the fronto-striatal networks underlying implicit sequence learning and executive functions and suggest that the functional integrity of this relationship is unaltered in the alcohol dependent group despite of the weaker frontal lobe functions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: implicit learning, procedural memory, frontostriatal network, competitive brain networks, executive functions
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 15:45
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/25714

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