Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Learned Non-use

  • Julie GriffithEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9019


Learned motor non-use; Learned non-use of spoken communication


Observed reduction of a behavior that cannot be exclusively attributed to an impairment in the central nervous system.

Historical Background

Learned non-use was first observed in basic research conducted with monkeys who underwent surgical deafferentation of an upper limb. After deafferentation, researchers observed that when the monkeys used a compromised arm or hand to obtain food, they would do so inefficiently resulting in a form of negative reinforcement. Consequently, in an attempt to become more proficient, the monkeys resorted to only using their unaffected upper limb to climb and eat with relative ease. This positively reinforced the behavior of not using an impaired limb. Since the observed diminished motor movement of the monkeys’ impaired limb could not solely be accredited to the surgically induced central nervous system damage, the investigators coined the observed behavior − learned...

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References and References

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Speech Pathology and AudiologyBall State UniversityMuncieUSA