The Von Restorff effect in ageing and Alzheimer's disease

P. Vitali, L. Minati, G. Chiarenza, A. Brugnolo, N. Girtler, F. Nobili, C. De Leo, P. Rosati, G. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the study was to evaluate the Von Restorff effect in normal ageing and in Alzheimer's disease (AD). A shortened paradigm was administered to three groups of subjects: young volunteers, elderly volunteers and patients with early-stage AD (MMSE>20). Each subject was presented with 25 lists of 10 words each, the target word appearing in double font size. A free recall phase followed the presentation of each list; after completion of the battery, a size recognition test was administered and subjects were inquired regarding the strategy employed and perception of target words. The total number of recalled words differed significantly among the three groups (young volunteers 144.4±38.6, elderly volunteers 86.5±17.6, patients 44.2±14.6). A significant difference in percentage of recall was found between target and non-target words in young (60.0±13.8% vs. 45.7%±15.0%, p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Ageing
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Episodic memory
  • Isolation effect
  • Von Restorff effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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