Automatic memory processes in normal ageing and Alzheimer’s disease

Hudson, John (2008) Automatic memory processes in normal ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. Cortex, 44 (3). pp. 345-349. ISSN 0010-9452

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This study examined the contribution of automatic and controlled uses of memory to stem completion in young, middle-aged and older adults, and compared these data with a study involving patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who performed the same task (Hudson and Robertson, 2007). In an inclusion task participants aimed to complete three-letter word stems with a previously studied word, in an exclusion task the aim was to avoid using studied words to complete stems. Performances under inclusion and exclusion conditions were contrasted to obtain estimates of controlled and automatic memory processes using process-dissociation calculations (Jacoby, 1991).
An age-related decline, evident from middle age was observed for the estimate of controlled processing, whereas the estimate of automatic processing remained invariant across the age groups. This pattern stands in contrast to what is observed in AD, where both controlled and automatic processes have been shown to be impaired. Therefore, the impairment in memory processing on stem completion that is found in AD is qualitatively different from that observed in normal ageing.

Keywords:Alzheimer's disease, ageing, automatic memory, process-dissociation procedure, stem completion
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C860 Neuropsychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:2766
Deposited On:02 Jul 2010 11:14

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