Inductive reasoning and implicit memory: Evidence from intact and impaired memory systems

Luisa Girelli, Carlo Semenza, Margarete Delazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we modified a classic problem solving task, number series completion, in order to explore the contribution of implicit memory to inductive reasoning. Participants were required to complete number series sharing the same underlying algorithm (e.g., +2), differing in both constituent elements (e.g., 2468 versus 57911) and correct answers (e.g., 10 versus 13). In Experiment 1, reliable priming effects emerged, whether primes and targets were separated by four or ten fillers. Experiment 2 provided direct evidence that the observed facilitation arises at central stages of problem solving, namely the identification of the algorithm and its subsequent extrapolation. The observation of analogous priming effects in a severely amnesic patient strongly supports the hypothesis that the facilitation in number series completion was largely determined by implicit memory processes. These findings demonstrate that the influence of implicit processes extends to higher level cognitive domain such as induction reasoning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-938
Number of pages13
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Amnesia
  • Arithmetic reasoning
  • Number series
  • Priming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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