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Memory for visuospatial patterns in Alzheimer's disease

  • Dario Grossi (a1), James T. Becker (a1), Christine Smith (a1) and Luigi Trojano (a1)

Synopsis

Immediate memory for visuospatial information was assessed in patients affected by Alzheimer-type dementia but with unimpaired visuo-perceptual functions. Patients were given two tasks: one was a traditional visuospatial memory task (Corsi's block tapping test), the second explored specifically immediate memory for visuospatial patterns. The experiment was conducted in two parallel groups of patients in Italy and the United States, each with its own appropriate sample of normal control subjects. Results showed a specific deficit of visual working memory in demented patients, even in a task in which control subjects achieved error-free performance. These data are interpreted in the light of the Working Memory Model, and suggest that in dementia the functions of the Visuospatial Scratchpad, unlike the functions of the verbal subsystems, may be impaired.

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Corresponding author

1Address for correspondence: Dr Dario Grossi, Clinica Neurologica, Ed. 17, Nuovo Policlinico, Via S. Pansini, 80131 Napoli, Italy.

References

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