Keeping track of a conversation: Impairments in Alzheimer's disease

M. Alberoni, A. Baddeley, S. Della Sala, R. Logie, H. Spinnler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Earlier research suggests that AD patients tend to be particularly impaired in the central executive component of working memory, leading to problems in coordinating information from different sources. This suggests that they may be particularly handicapped in keeping track of conversations involving several people. This was studied in 19 AD and 19 matched control subjects. The patients were screened to minimize problems of face recognition and language comprehension and were then shown videotapes of conversations involving from two to five characters. After each tape, a statement made by one of the characters was presented and the subject required to point to the person who had made that statement. Performance was at ceiling for normals, except when the speakers had changed location, when some errors occurred. AD patients showed a clear tendency for performance to deteriorate as number of speakers increased, and to show higher error rates when participants changed location. Implications are discussed for AD patients attempting to cope with everyday social situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-646
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Alberoni, M., Baddeley, A., Della Sala, S., Logie, R., & Spinnler, H. (1992). Keeping track of a conversation: Impairments in Alzheimer's disease. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 7(9), 639-646.