Poster A74, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Explicit probabilistic sequence learning in Tourette syndrome
Eszter Tóth-Fáber1, Zsanett Tárnok2, Andrea Kóbor3, Karolina Janacsek1,4, Alexandra Rádosi1, Eszter Dóra Szabó1, Dóra Merkl2, Szabina Oláh2, Orsolya Hegedűs2, Péter Nagy2, Réka Vidomusz2, Dezso Nemeth1,4; 1Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, 2Vadaskert Child Psychiatry Hospital, Budapest, Hungary, 3Brain Imaging Centre, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, 4Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics and also by frontal/basal-ganglia abnormalities. Basal-ganglia abnormalities often lead to impairments in procedural learning. However, examining procedural learning in TS have produced contradictory results: Some studies have reported intact or even enhanced procedural learning, while others have found impairments. However, procedural learning is a multicomponent process and previous studies investigated only certain aspect of this mechanism. In this study, we investigated the implicit and explicit learning of sequences in children with TS and typically developing (TD) children using a probabilistic sequence learning task. These two processes of procedural learning could be selectively impaired in TS. We used the explicit version of the Alternating Serial Reaction Time (ASRT) task which enables us to measure both implicit and explicit sequence learning in parallel. According to our results, explicit sequence learning could be altered in TS as children with TS did not learn the explicit sequence in the task while TD children did. Examining implicit learning, both groups showed similar sequence learning, indicating intact implicit sequence learning in TS. This is in line with those previous studies showing the relative strength of implicit sequence learning in TS. This subprocess of procedural learning plays an important role in the acquisition of several cognitive and motor skills, such as language learning and playing sports.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Skill learning