We assessed the validity of a brief incidental learning measure based on the Similarities and Vocabulary subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV).Most neuropsychological assessments for memory require intentional learning, but incidental learning occurs without explicit instruction. Incidental memory tests such as the WAIS-III Symbol Digit Coding subtest have existed for many years, but few memory studies have used a semantically processed incidental learning model.We conducted a retrospective analysis of 37 veterans with traumatic brain injury, referred for outpatient neuropsychological testing at a Veterans Affairs hospital. As part of their evaluation, the participants completed the incidental learning tasks. We compared their incidental learning performance to their performance on traditional memory measures.Incidental learning scores correlated strongly with scores on the California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT-II) and Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R). After we conducted a partial correlation that controlled for the effects of age, incidental learning correlated significantly with the CVLT-II Immediate Free Recall, CVLT-II Short-Delay Recall, CVLT-II Long-Delay Recall, and CVLT-II Yes/No Recognition Hits, and with the BVMT-R Delayed Recall and BVMT-R Recognition Discrimination Index.Our incidental learning procedures derived from subtests of the WAIS-IV Edition are an efficient and valid way of measuring memory. These tasks add minimally to testing time and capitalize on the semantic encoding that is inherent in completing the Similarities and Vocabulary subtests.
Cogn Behav Neurol (Cognitive and behavioral neurology : official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology)
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