Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
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Psicothema, 2007. Vol. Vol. 19 (nº 2). 239-244

Picture priming in normal aging and Alzheimers disease

Soledad Ballesteros, José M. Reales and Julia Mayas

Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

Picture priming in normal aging and Alzheimers disease. The present study investigated age invariance for naming pictures and whether implicit memory is spared in Alzheimers disease (AD). During the study phase, young adults, AD patients, and older controls were shown outlines of familiar pictures. After a distracter task, implicit memory was assessed incidentally. The results showed similar visual priming for the three groups, although young adults responded faster than the two older groups. Moreover, the number of errors was smaller for studied than for nonstudied pictures. This pattern of results was repeated across the three groups, although AD patients produced more errors than young adults and older controls, and there were no differences between these latter groups. These results confirmed previous visual and haptic findings showing unimpaired perceptual priming in normal aging and AD patients when implicit memory is assessed using identification tasks. These results are interpreted from a cognitive neuroscience perspective.

El trabajo estudió la existencia de priming perceptivo invariante con la edad y si la memoria implícita se mantiene en enfermos de Alzheimer (EA). Presentamos a adultos jóvenes, enfermos de Alzheimer (AD) y mayores controles durante la fase de estudio siluetas de dibujos familiares. Después de realizar una tarea distractora, evaluamos su memoria implícita de manera incidental. Los resultados mostraron un priming perceptivo similar en los tres grupos, aunque los jóvenes respondieron más de prisa que los dos grupos de mayores. Además, el número de errores fue menor en los tres grupos para los estímulos estudiados que para los no estudiados. Estos resultados confirman resultados visuales y hápticos previos y sugieren la existencia de priming perceptivo normal, invariante con la edad y la demencia, cuando la memoria implícita se evalúa con tareas de identificación perceptiva. Estos resultados se interpretan desde la perspectiva de la neurociencia cognitiva.


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