Categorization abilities for emotional and nonemotional stimuli in patients with alcohol-related Korsakoff syndrome. Kategorisierungsfaehigkeit fuer emotionale und nicht-emotionale Stimuli bei Patienten mit alkoholbezogenem Korsakoff-Syndrom
Investigated whether patients with alcohol-related Korsakoff syndrome (KR) have emotion-specific or general deficits in multicategorical classification performance. Earlier studies have shown reduced performance in classifying stimuli according to their emotional valence in patients with KS. However, it is unclear whether such classification deficits are of emotion-specific nature or whether they can also occur when nonemotional classifications are demanded. In this study, the authors examined 35 patients with alcoholic KS and 35 healthy participants with the Emotional Picture Task (EPT) to assess valence classification performance, the Semantic Classification Task (SCT) to assess nonemotional categorizations, and an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Results show that KS patients exhibited lower classification performance in both tasks compared with the healthy participants. EPT and SCT performance were related to each other. EPT and SCT performance correlated with general knowledge and EPT performance in addition with executive functions. In conclusion, these results indicate a common underlying mechanism of the patients' reductions in emotional and nonemotional classification performance. These deficits are most probably based on problems in retrieving object and category knowledge and, partially, on executive functioning.
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