Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
Neuropsychology. 2011 Jan;25(1):98-104. doi: 10.1037/a0021005.

Multimodal cuing of autobiographical memory in semantic dementia.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, CA, USA. greenbergdl@cofc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Individuals with semantic dementia (SD) have impaired autobiographical memory (AM), but the extent of the impairment has been controversial. According to one report (Westmacott, Leach, Freedman, & Moscovitch, 2001), patient performance was better when visual cues were used instead of verbal cues; however, the visual cues used in that study (family photographs) provided more retrieval support than do the word cues that are typically used in AM studies. In the present study, we sought to disentangle the effects of retrieval support and cue modality.

METHOD:

We cued AMs of 5 patients with SD and 5 controls with words, simple pictures, and odors. Memories were elicited from childhood, early adulthood, and recent adulthood; they were scored for level of detail and episodic specificity.

RESULTS:

The patients were impaired across all time periods and stimulus modalities. Within the patient group, words and pictures were equally effective as cues (Friedman test; χ² = 0.25, p = .61), whereas odors were less effective than both words and pictures (for words vs. odors, χ² = 7.83, p = .005; for pictures vs. odors, χ² = 6.18, p = .01). There was no evidence of a temporal gradient in either group (for patients with SD, χ² = 0.24, p = .89; for controls, χ² < 2.07, p = .35).

CONCLUSIONS:

Once the effect of retrieval support is equated across stimulus modalities, there is no evidence for an advantage of visual cues over verbal cues. The greater impairment for olfactory cues presumably reflects degeneration of anterior temporal regions that support olfactory memory.

(c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

PMID:
21090900
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3058931
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk