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This study explored Closing-in behavior (CIB), the tendency in figure copying to draw very close to or on top of the model, in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The files of 154 people diagnosed with MCI were reviewed and CIB was identified in 21% of cases. Two approaches were used to explore CIB. First, we capitalized on the diverse cognitive profiles within MCI, subdividing the overall sample into people with and without memory deficits. The frequency of CIB was significantly higher in multidomain non-amnestic MCI than in multidomain amnestic MCI, suggesting that CIB is not associated with specific memory impairment. Second, we assessed the cognitive correlates of CIB, by selecting patients with MCI who completed a battery of executive, visuo-constructional and memory tasks. Sub-groups of patients with and without CIB showed a similar overall severity of cognitive decline and comparable performance in visuo-constructional and memory tasks, but those with CIB were slightly but significantly more impaired on executive function tasks. The study provides evidence against memory-based accounts of CIB, and supports recent suggestions that executive impairments are the dominant cognitive correlate of this clinical sign. (JINS, 2012, 18, 269–276)
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