Alcohol dependence is clinically and experimentally associated with selective memory impairment and a significant reduction in cognitive inhibition abilities, manifested in particular for alcohol related stimuli. These difficulties are usually exhibited in a modified Stroop paradigm (Ryan, 2002). In Experiment 1, we have attempted to test, at a general level, the alcoholics' cognitive inhibition abilities for neutral words. We have used the directed forgetting paradigm, the item-by-item and list methods. In Experiment 2, we have focused on the processing biases towards alcohol-related words which potentially characterise the addictive syndrome. The intentional forgetting effect has been evaluated with the use of both explicit and implicit memory tests. We have found significant inhibition difficulties for neutral as well as alcohol-related words in alcohol dependence.
KEYWORDS: alcohol dependence, intentional forgetting, cognitive inhibition