Self-generated learning in people with multiple sclerosis

Michael R. Basso, Natasha Lowery, Courtney Ghormley, Dennis Combs, Jay Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Memory impairment is among the most common cognitive deficits in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). To remediate this problem, recent research has evaluated the benefits of self-generated encoding. These nascent investigations reveal that people with MS who have mild memory impairment demonstrate a significant memory benefit from self-generated encoding compared with didactic learning. To extend prior research, the present experiment included MS patients with moderate-severe, rather than just mild, memory impairment. Additionally, the experiment evaluated whether self-generated encoding improves memory for activities of daily living instead of abstract words. Specifically, the experiment determined whether self-generated encoding enhanced memory for names, appointments, and object locations. In agreement with and extending prior research, MS patients remembered more information if it was self-generated rather than didactically presented, and this finding occurred despite moderate-severe memory impairment. Furthermore, compared with didactic encoding, self-generation enhanced recall of activities of daily living. Implications of these findings for cognitive rehabilitation and the nature of memory impairment in MS are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-648
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Memory disorders
  • Paired-associate
  • Recall
  • Recognition
  • Rehabilitation
  • Retention


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