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Neuropsychology. 2014 Mar;28(2):273-80. doi: 10.1037/neu0000013. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Memory consolidation in aging and MCI after 1 week.

Author information

  • 1Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco.
  • 2Department of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford.



To assess consolidation in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), controlling for differences in initial learning and using a protracted delay period for recall.


15 individuals with aMCI were compared with 15 healthy older adult controls on a story learning task. Subjects were trained to criteria to equalize initial learning across subjects. Recall was tested at both the 30-min typically used delay and a 1-week delay used to target consolidation.


Using repeated measures ANOVAs adjusted for age, we found group × time point interactions across the entire task between the final trial and 30-min delay, and again between the 30-min and 1-week delay periods, with aMCI having greater declines in recall as compared with controls. Significant group main effects were also found, with aMCI recalling less than controls.


Consolidation was impaired in aMCI as compared with controls. Our findings indicate that aMCI-related performance typically measured at 30 min underestimates aMCI-associated memory deficits. This is the first study to isolate consolidation by controlling for initial learning differences and using a protracted delay period to target consolidation in an aMCI sample.

PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

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