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Publication Abstract Display
Type: Poster
Title: Self-generation enhances verbal recall in HIV-infected stimulant users.
Authors: Weber E, Woods SP, Grant I, Basso MR and the TMARC Group
Date: 06-17-2013
Abstract:Objective: Stimulant dependence is often associated with moderate deficits in verbal learning and memory that interfere with everyday functioning, but few studies have sought to remediate such deficits. The present study explored the efficacy of a self-generation technique, which enhances new learning via elaborated encoding mechanisms, in HIV-infected stimulant users. Method: Participants included 18 HIV+ adults with histories of stimulant dependence and 15 HIV- individuals with no substance dependence history, who learned paired word associates through either self-generated or didactic encoding. In the didactic condition, participants received completed word pairs that they were instructed to read aloud. In the self-generation condition, participants received the first word, but the second word was self-generated based on its first letter and the given relationship between the words (e.g., synonym). The primary dependent variables of interest were the 20-minute delayed free recall scores from the self-generation and didactic conditions. Results: A mixed-factor ANOVA revealed main effects of group status (p=0.004) and encoding condition (p<0.001), but no interaction between group status and encoding condition (p>0.10). Further exploration of these omnibus effects showed that HIV+ stimulant users recalled fewer words overall compared to their healthy counterparts, and that both groups recalled significantly more words learned in the self-generation condition. Of note, HIV-infected stimulant users recalled significantly fewer words compared to the healthy comparison group in the didactic condition (p=0.005; d=-1.19), but normalized their performance with the self-generation strategy (p>0.10; d=0.20). Conclusions: Findings suggest that self-generation may improve verbal recall in HIV-infected stimulant users and may therefore be an appropriate and potentially effective cognitive rehabilitation tool in this population.

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