The relation of white matter hyperintensities to implicit learning in healthy older adults

H. J. Aizenstein, R. D. Nebes, C. C. Meltzer, M. B. Fukui, R. L. Williams, J. Saxton, P. R. Houck, Cameron S Carter, C. F. Reynolds, S. T. DeKosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined whether MRI evidence of cerebrovascular disease in the form of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) was associated with decreased implicit sequence learning performance in a high-functioning group of normal elderly volunteers. Method: One hundred and eight community-dwelling elderly individuals received an MRI and performed an implicit sequence learning task, the serial reaction time (SRT) task. Results: Hyperintensities present in the white matter were associated with a decreased learning effect. This association was found with both deep white matter and periventricular changes. Other factors affecting SRT performance (i.e., baseline reaction time and switch-cost) were not significantly related to the presence of WMH. Conclusions: The results indicate that in addition to previously identified generalized cognitive deficits, WMH are also associated with a specific decrease in the implicit learning of sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-669
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Implicit learning
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Sequence learning
  • Serial reaction time
  • White matter hyperintensities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'The relation of white matter hyperintensities to implicit learning in healthy older adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this