Symbolic sequence learning is associated with cognitive-affective profiles in femaleFMR1premutation carriers Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examines implicit sequence learning impairments that may indicate at-risk cerebellar profiles proposed to underlie some aspects of subtle cognitive and affective dysfunctions found among female fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) premutation (PM)-carriers. A total of 34 female PM-carriers and 33 age- and intelligence-matched controls completed an implicit symbolically primed serial reaction time task (SRTT) previously shown to be sensitive to cerebellar involvement. Implicit learning scores indicated a preservation of learning in both groups; however, PM-carriers demonstrated poorer learning through significantly elevated response latencies overall and at each specific block within the symbolic SRTT. Group comparisons also revealed a core deficit in response inhibition, alongside elevated inattentive symptoms in female PM-carriers. Finally, strong and significant associations were observed between poor symbolic SRTT performance and executive, visuospatial and affective deficits in the PM-carrier group. These associations remained strong even after controlling motor speed, and were not observed in age- and intelligence quotient-matched participants. The findings implicate cerebellar non-motor networks subserving the implicit sequencing of responses in cognitive-affective phenotypes previously observed in female PM-carriers. We contend that symbolic SRTT performance may offer clinical utility in future pharmaceutical interventions in female PM-carriers.


  • Kraan, CM
  • Hocking, DR
  • Bradshaw, JL
  • Georgiou-Karistianis, N
  • Metcalfe, SA
  • Archibald, AD
  • Fielding, J
  • Trollor, J
  • Cohen, J
  • Cornish, KM

publication date

  • April 2014