Implicit task sequence learning in patients with Parkinson's disease, frontal lesions and amnesia: The critical role of fronto–striatal loops

Meier, Beat; Weiermann, Brigitte; Gutbrod, Klemens; Stephan, Marianne A.; Cock, Josephine; Müri, René M.; Kaelin-Lang, Alain (2013). Implicit task sequence learning in patients with Parkinson's disease, frontal lesions and amnesia: The critical role of fronto–striatal loops. Neuropsychologia, 51(14), pp. 3014-3024. Elsevier 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.10.009

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of the fronto–striatal system for implicit task sequence learning. We tested performance of patients with compromised functioning of the fronto–striatal loops, that is, patients with Parkinson's disease and patients with lesions in the ventromedial or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. We also tested amnesic patients with lesions either to the basal forebrain/orbitofrontal cortex or to thalamic/medio-temporal regions. We used a task sequence learning paradigm involving the presentation of a sequence of categorical binary-choice decision tasks. After several blocks of training, the sequence, hidden in the order of tasks, was replaced by a pseudo-random sequence. Learning (i.e., sensitivity to the ordering) was assessed by measuring whether this change disrupted performance. Although all the patients were able to perform the decision tasks quite easily, those with lesions to the fronto–striatal loops (i.e., patients with Parkinson's disease, with lesions in the ventromedial or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and those amnesic patients with lesions to the basal forebrain/orbitofrontal cortex) did not show any evidence of implicit task sequence learning. In contrast, those amnesic patients with lesions to thalamic/medio-temporal regions showed intact sequence learning. Together, these results indicate that the integrity of the fronto–striatal system is a prerequisite for implicit task sequence learning.

Item Type: Journal Article (Original Article)
Division/Institute: 04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Department of Clinical Research (DCR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)
UniBE Contributor: Meier, Beat; Weiermann, Brigitte; Gutbrod, Klemens; Stephan, Marianne; Cock, Josephine; Müri, René Martin and Kaelin, Alain
Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
ISSN: 0028-3932
Publisher: Elsevier
Language: English
Submitter: Anna Maria Ruprecht
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2014 13:48
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2015 10:39
Publisher DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.10.009
PubMed ID: 24436969
Uncontrolled Keywords: Basal ganglia Frontal cortex Incidental learning Medio-temporal lobes
BORIS DOI: 10.7892/boris.45127
URI: http://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/45127

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