In his examination of elderly patients the psychiatrist is commonly concerned to obtain some indication of the individual's “memory function“. When the psychologist is asked to help in such assessment there are at least two factors which may handicap his ability to do so. Firstly, the conception of “memory”. as popularly used, even in the clinic, is rather narrow in its connotation, having come to refer almost exclusively to the reproduction of learned material. It would seem more satisfactory, from the psychologist's point of view, to substitute instead the notion of “learning ability” since this expression has a wider meaning. It admits of the discussion of separate aspects and takes into account, for example, the two broad phases of “acquisition” and “retention“. Secondly, those tests which the psychologist may have by him which purport to assess “memory” usually suffer from a number of disadvantages. For example, as Williams (12) has recently pointed out, they are seldom so constructed as to ensure that every subject has a standard opportunity to acquire what the test requires him to reproduce; in any case few of the tests available have ever been given to elderly people, so that “normal” performance in such age groups is unknown. A more important, and less often emphasized, disadvantage, however, is that performance on such tests is commonly closely related to performance on intelligence tests, so that although the ostensible content of the material used seems to be related to “memory”, in the popular sense, what the psychologist in fact gets from them is another measure of general intellectual ability. A study by Hall (1) has shown that, for a young population at least (mean age 29.11, sd 2.77), the results of the Wechsler Memory Scale (10) correlate with results on the Wechsler Bellevue Intelligence Scale (9) almost to the degree (r=0.77) to which the intelligence measure correlates with itself (r=0.94).