Prospective memory functioning in mild cognitive impairment

Alberto Costa, Roberta Perri, Laura Serra, Francesco Barban, Ilaria Gatto, Silvia Zabberoni, Carlo Caltagirone, Giovanni A. Carlesimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The present study aimed to investigate prospective memory (PM) in persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Method: Twenty individuals with MCI (10 with an amnestic profile and 10 with a dysexecutive profile of cognitive impairment) and 20 control subjects (CS) were recruited. In the PM tasks, subjects had to execute three actions after 20 min had elapsed (time-based condition) or after a timer rang (event-based condition). Separate scores were computed for correct recall of the intention to perform the actions (prospective component) and for correct execution of the actions (retrospective component). Results: Although individuals with MCI were less accurate than CS in both prospective (Cohen's d ranged from 1.04 to 2.23) and retrospective (Cohen's d ranged from 0.81 to 1.06) components of the experimental task, they were significantly more impaired in the former than the latter component (Cohen's d = 0.42). Moreover, the deficit in the prospective component of the time-based task was particularly evident in MCI participants presenting with a dysexecutive impairment in respect to amnestic MCI individuals (Cohen's d = 0.99). Conclusions: Results of the present study show that the ability of subjects with MCI to comply effectively with a planned delayed intention is impaired and suggest that dysexecutive disorders are likely responsible for this deficit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychological functions.
  • Prospective memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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