Acting is the key: new directions for the stimulation of prospective memory in mild cognitive impairment

Pereira, A., Ellis, J. and Freeman, J. (2011) Acting is the key: new directions for the stimulation of prospective memory in mild cognitive impairment. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 7. S543-S544. ISSN 1552-5260

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Background: The fulfillment of delayed intended actions (e.g. taking medication
or attending an appointment) is described in the literature as prospective
memory (PM), and is often pointed out as a fairly common concern for
healthy adults in everyday life constituting a fundamental requirement for
independent living across the lifespan. PM may be compromised in the
course of healthy aging and may be particularly disrupted very early in
the neurodegenerative process, namely at the stage of Mild Cognitive Impairment
(MCI), which usually represents an initial phase of Alzheimer’s
disease (AD), severely affecting a self-sufficient life-style and causing immense
apprehension to caregivers. Methods: We have addressed this issue
by investigating whether enactment at encoding could improve PM
performance and whether these potential benefits were dependent of the
relationship between the retrieval cue and its associated action. We report
findings that explored this hypothesis in 64 young adults aged 18-39 years
(M ¼ 20.41, SD ¼ 3.553) and 64 educationally matched older adults
aged 58-90 years (M ¼ 71.17, SD ¼ 7.204) using a behavioral PM testing
paradigm with a 2 X 2 X 2 between-subject factorial design. Results: Older
adults’ PM performance (like that of their younger counterparts) benefited
from enactment at encoding and from a strong semantic cue-action relation.
Furthermore, there were no reliable effects of encoding modality or cue-action
relatedness on performance accuracy or speed, despite a generalized
slowness associated with age. Importantly, these beneficial effects were
maintained across the lifespan, and even under high attentional demands.
Figure 1. Mean proportion of PM cues eliciting a correct response at the
appropriate moment in each Method of Encoding X Cue-Action Relatedness
X Age

Publication Type: Articles
Additional Information: Poster presented at Alzheimer's Association International Conference, Paris, France, 16-21 July 2011
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Research Entities > POWER Centre
Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Psychology
Event Title: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference
Event Location: Paris, France
Event Dates: 16-21 July 2011
Depositing User: Antonina Pereira
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2014 16:31
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2017 10:42

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