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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2011 Jul;17(4):740-5.

Script generation of activities of daily living in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

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Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.


Script generation describes one's ability to produce complex, sequential action plans derived from mental representations of everyday activities. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on script generation performance. Sixty HIV+ individuals (48% of whom had HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders [HAND]) and 26 demographically comparable HIV- participants were administered a novel, standardized test of script generation, which required participants to verbally generate and organize the necessary steps for completing six daily activities. HAND participants evidenced significantly more total errors, intrusions, and script boundary errors compared to the HIV- sample, indicating difficulties inhibiting irrelevant actions and staying within the prescribed boundaries of scripts, but had adequate knowledge of the relevant actions required for each script. These findings are generally consistent with the executive dysfunction and slowing common in HAND and suggest that script generation may play a role in everyday functioning problems in HIV.

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