When memory does not fail: Familiarity-based recognition in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

Carmen E. Westerberg*, Ken A. Paller, Sandra Weintraub, M. Marsel Mesulam, Andrew R. Mayes, Juliet S. Holdstock, Paul J. Reber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recognition can be guided by familiarity, a restricted form of retrieval devoid of contextual recall, or by recollection, which occurs when retrieval is sufficient to support the full experience of remembering an episode. Recollection and familiarity were disentangled by testing recognition memory using silhouette object drawings, high target-foil resemblance, and both yes-no and forced-choice procedures. Theoretically, forced-choice recognition could be mediated by familiarity alone. Alzheimer's disease and its preclinical stage, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), were associated with memory impairments that were greater on the yes-no test. Remarkably, forced-choice recognition was unequivocally normal in patients with MCI compared with age-matched controls. Neuropathology in hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, known to be present in MCI, presumably disrupted recollection while leaving familiarity-based recognition intact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

Keywords

  • Entorhinal cortex
  • Familiarity
  • Forced-choice recognition
  • Hippocampus
  • Recollection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'When memory does not fail: Familiarity-based recognition in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this