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Neuropsychologia. 2011 Jul;49(9):2609-18. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.05.008. Epub 2011 May 19.

Alzheimer's disease and memory-monitoring impairment: Alzheimer's patients show a monitoring deficit that is greater than their accuracy deficit.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 400400, 102 Gilmer Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400, USA.


We assessed the ability of two groups of patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and two groups of older adults to monitor the likely accuracy of recognition judgments and source identification judgments about who spoke something earlier. Alzheimer's patients showed worse performance on both memory judgments and were less able to monitor with confidence ratings the likely accuracy of both kinds of memory judgments, as compared to a group of older adults who experienced the identical study and test conditions. Critically, however, when memory performance was made comparable between the AD patients and the older adults (e.g., by giving AD patients extra exposures to the study materials), AD patients were still greatly impaired at monitoring the likely accuracy of their recognition and source judgments. This result indicates that the monitoring impairment in AD patients is actually worse than their memory impairment, as otherwise there would have been no differences between the two groups in monitoring performance when there were no differences in accuracy. We discuss the brain correlates of this memory-monitoring deficit and also propose a Remembrance-Evaluation model of memory-monitoring.

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