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Journal Article

Citation

Ahveninen J, Jääskeläinen IP, Pekkonen E, Hallberg A, Hietanen M, Mäkelä R, Naatanen R, Sillanaukee P. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 1999; 23(9): 1507-1514.

Affiliation

Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland. jyrki.ahveninen@helsinki.fi

Copyright

(Copyright © 1999, John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

10512317

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pronounced disruption of memory traces by subsequent distractors may result in impaired behavioral memory performance in alcoholics. METHODS: This hypothesis was investigated with an electrophysiological index of auditory sensory-memory traces, mismatch negativity, a preattentive event-related potential component elicited by a "deviant" tone within a train of "standard" tones. RESULTS: Inserting a masking stimulus after these tones abolished mismatch negativity in alcoholics (DSM-IV) but not in social-drinker controls. This effect predicted working-memory impairment in alcoholics, and correlated significantly with self-reported alcohol consumption of the subjects. Furthermore, the backward-masking mismatch negativity paradigm detected sensory-memory impairment in 9 of 20 alcoholics (sensitivity 45%), whereas all 20 social drinkers were unimpaired (specificity 100%). CONCLUSIONS: Vulnerability to memory trace disruption by shortly following sounds may be one of the factors contributing to behavioral memory dysfunction in alcoholics. The present result may provide an objective neurophysiological tool for investigation of alcohol-induced and other degenerative brain disorders.


Language: en

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