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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Probability of First Recall in Healthy Aging and Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease
by D’Errico, Lisa, M.S., University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, 2018, 63; 13850246
Abstract (Summary)

Background: Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that progresses from healthy aging to a preliminary stage known as preclinical AD. Preclinical AD is defined by intact global cognition and measures of pathological cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) amyloid ß1-42 and tau, deposition of amyloid ß plaques in the brain, or reduced hippocampal volume. Objectives: 1). Use a list learning task to compare probability of first recall (PFR) in older adults and college students (n=79). 2). Determine if PFR can distinguish between adults with and without preclinical AD. Method: Healthy older participants (n=20) were recruited from the Penn Memory Center and administered a free recall task with 24 lists at six lengths. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups in a 2x2 design with presentation speed (1 or 1.5 seconds) and articulation (reading words aloud or silently) as between subjects factors. Preclinical AD was determined using volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the hippocampus. PFR and a novel Primacy to Recency Shift Index (PRSI) determined participants’ tendency to use primacy or recency based first-recall strategies. Results: Reading aloud was associated with a more recency-based first recall pattern, especially on the two longest lists, supporting our hypotheses. PRSI scores and left hippocampal volumes showed a small, but nonsignificant, positive correlation indicating that primacy-based first recall strategies may be associated with greater hippocampal volume. Discussion: Articulating words by reading aloud during list learning is sufficiently taxing to alter first recall patterns on longer lists. Future research with a larger sample, comprehensive biomarker data, and a more demanding cognitive load manipulation is needed.

Indexing (document details)
School: University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
Department: Behavioral and Social Sciences
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: MAI 58/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Preclinical ad, Primacy, Probability of first recall, Recency, Working memory
Publication Number: 13850246
ISBN: 978-0-438-97387-9
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