The effects of aging and Alzheimer's disease on associative recognition memory

Risa Hanaki, Nobuhito Abe, Toshikatsu Fujii, Aya Ueno, Yoshiyuki Nishio, Kotaro Hiraoka, Tatsuo Shimomura, Osamu Iizuka, Mayumi Shinohara, Kazumi Hirayama, Etsuro Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the effects of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) on item and associative recognition memory. Three groups of participants (younger adults, elderly adults, and AD patients) studied photographs of common objects that were located on either the left or the right side of a black computer screen inside either a red or a blue square. In a subsequent old/new recognition memory test, the participants were presented with four kinds of stimuli: "intact" stimuli, which were presented as they were during the study phase; "location-altered" stimuli, which were presented in a different location; "coloraltered" stimuli, which were presented with a different surrounding color; and "new" stimuli, which consisted of photographs that had not been presented during the study phase. Compared with younger adults, the older adults showed equivalent performance in simple item recognition but worse performance in discriminating location-altered and color-altered stimuli. Compared with older adults, the AD patients showed equivalent performance in discriminating color-altered stimuli but worse performance in simple item recognition and the discrimination of locationaltered stimuli. We speculate that distinct structural and functional changes in specific brain regions that are caused by aging and AD are responsible for the different patterns of memory impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1122
Number of pages8
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Associative recognition
  • Item recognition
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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