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Object decision priming in Alzheimer's disease

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 1998

DEBRA A. FLEISCHMAN
Affiliation:
Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush Medical College; Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, and the Center for Research on Healthy Aging, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL
JOHN D.E. GABRIELI
Affiliation:
Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush Medical College; Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, and the Center for Research on Healthy Aging, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL Department of Psychology, Stanford University
SHERYL L. REMINGER
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Arizona
CHANDAN J. VAIDYA
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Stanford University
DAVID A. BENNETT
Affiliation:
Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush Medical College; Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, and the Center for Research on Healthy Aging, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Abstract

Priming for line drawings of real and nonreal objects was examined in an object decision task for 16 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 16 normal elderly control (NC) participants. In two study phases, participants decided if objects were real or nonreal. In an implicit test phase, real/nonreal decisions were made for studied and unstudied objects, and priming was measured as the difference in decision speed or accuracy between studied and unstudied objects. In an explicit test phase, yes/no recognition was measured for real and nonreal objects. AD patients had impaired explicit memory for real and nonreal objects and intact repetition priming for real objects. By the latency measure, both AD and NC groups showed priming for nonreal objects but in opposite ways. Classification decisions about studied relative to nonstudied nonreal objects were slower for the AD patients, whereas such decisions were faster for the NC participants. Classification decisions of both groups were less accurate for repeated nonreal objects. These results support the claim that AD patients with mild cognitive impairment show normal perceptual priming. The AD inhibition for studied nonreal objects is discussed in terms of the decision conflict that occurs when recollection of source is not available to counter the influence of familiarity. (JINS, 1998, 4, 435–446.)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1998 The International Neuropsychological Society

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