Impaired route learning is a common consequence of acquired brain injury (ABI) but has received little attention in the research literature. Errorless learning may be a method of facilitating the learning of routes but this is unclear as previous studies of errorless learning have focused mainly on verbal skills and the only previous study involving route learning was based upon a pencil and paper task. In the present study we therefore use virtual reality to explore the benefits of errorless learning for routes in an ecologically valid task. Twenty people with acquired brain injury learned two routes, of equivalent difficulty, around a virtual town based upon the city of Nice. For one route, full guidance was provided throughout the learning trials in an errorless learning paradigm; the other route was learned using a procedure that allowed for trial and error. Route recall following the errorless learning condition was significantly more accurate than recall after errorful learning. This suggests that the benefits of errorless over errorful learning in acquired brain injury rehabilitation extend beyond verbal learning tasks to the practical task of route memorisation.
- Errorless learning
- Memory impairment