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The common objects memory test (COMT): A simple test with cross-cultural applicability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2010

Communication Sciences and Disorders, Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts
Department of Neurology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Scottsdale, Arizona
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, University of California, Irvine, California
*Correspondence and reprint requests to: Daniel Kempler, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Emerson College, 120 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116. E-mail:


The Common Objects Memory Test (COMT) was developed to assess age-related memory impairments in individuals with a range of educational, language and cultural backgrounds. The COMT is a list-learning protocol that uses photographs of common objects to bypass difficulties posed by written words for individuals who are illiterate or have limited education. Preliminary data are presented for 336 healthy adults and 90 patients with dementia. Their age ranged from 54 to 99 years, education ranged from 0 to 22 years, and they were from five culturally and linguistically distinct populations: Caucasian and African-American English speakers, and native Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese speakers. Performance on the COMT was influenced by age, but little influenced by education, and un-influenced by gender or ethnic background. Among 11 neuropsychological tests, the recall scores from the COMT best distinguished healthy individuals from patients with dementia, underscoring its clinical utility for ethnically diverse populations. (JINS, 2010, 16, 537–545.)

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Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2010

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