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Enhancing the salience of fluency improves recognition memory performance in mild Alzheimer’s disease

By Christine(*) Bastin, Sylvie(*) Willems, Sarah Genon and Eric Salmon


Recognition memory can rely on recollection (recall of the details from the encoding episode) and familiarity (feeling that some information is old without any recollection). In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), whereas there is a clear deficit of recollection, the evidence regarding familiarity is mixed, with some studies showing preserved familiarity and others reporting impairment. The current study examined whether recognition memory performance can be improved in AD when the use of familiarity is facilitated by the salience of processing fluency due to an earlier encounter with the information. Fifteen AD patients and 16 healthy controls performed a verbal recognition memory task where the salience of fluency was manipulated by means of letters overlap. Studied and unstudied words were constituted of either two separate sets of letters (no-overlap condition, high fluency salience) or the same set of letters (overlap condition, low fluency salience). The results showed that, although performance was globally poorer in AD patients than in the controls, both groups performed significantly better in the no-overlap condition than in the overlap condition. This suggests that AD patients benefited as much as the controls from the salience of fluency.Peer reviewe

Topics: Social & behavioral sciences, psychology :: Neurosciences & behavior, Sciences sociales & comportementales, psychologie :: Neurosciences & comportement
Year: 2013
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