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Impairment of self-monitoring and vigilance in alcoholics

Hamer, P 1989 , 'Impairment of self-monitoring and vigilance in alcoholics', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Self monitoring seems to depend on appropriate memory
and attention processes. In chronic alcoholics these
processes may be impaired due to neural pathology.
Therefore, chronic alcoholics may be impaired in
self-monitoring abilities. This hypothesis was tested
using 19 chronic alcoholiagnc subjects matched for age,
gender (16 males and 3 females), and socio-economic
status with 19 non-alcoholic subjects. Two
experimental tasks were (a) self-monitoring arm-lifting behaviour and (b) a VDU-based vigilance task, each with
two levels of disction. Subjects responded via a
hand-held push-button, and all data was automatically
collected via computer. All subjects were assessed
with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test and the
Austin Maze test prior to the experiment. The
hypotheses were that alcoholics would be more impaired
at both experimental tasks than controls, and that
there would be a further impairment due to the effect
of the higher level of distraction for the alcoholics.
The main hypothesis received some support in that the
alcoholics showed impairment on self-monitoring
compared to controls, were poorer at self-monitoring
than vigilance, and were further impaired during the
higher distraction level. The control group however
did not find the self-monitoring task more difficult
than the vigilance task, although they were poorer on
both tasks under the higher level of distraction. The

alcoholic group was significantly impaired in
performance of RAVLT and Austin Maze test compared to
controls. Results are discussed in relation to
possible memory and attention deficits and how these
relate to pathology in various diencephalic regions.
Methodological weaknesses in the experiment are
discussed, an improved design is suggested, and
clinical implications relating to remediation and
recovery of function are examined in the light of
recent research.

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Hamer, P
Keywords: Attention, Vigilance (Psychology), Alcoholism, Alcoholics
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1989 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M. Psych.)--University of Tasmania, 1992.

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