Impaired acquisition and rapid forgetting of patterned visual stimuli in Alzheimer's disease

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1998 Oct;20(5):738-49. doi: 10.1076/jcen.20.5.738.1123.


Whether or not rate of forgetting is accelerated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is controversial. This study examined recognition of visual patterns in patients with AD and in controls at 10 min relative to a learning baseline measured after a 10-s delay (delayed recognition ratio, DRR). Comparable baseline performances were attained in the two groups by manipulating stimulus exposure times. Comparisons between 25 AD and 48 age-matched controls demonstrated lower DRR in AD when initial recognition, which was statistically worse in AD, was covariated. DRR was also lower in an analysis of subgroups closely matched on initial performance. The findings suggest that forgetting is accelerated in AD because multiple aspects of memory processing, including storage, are impaired.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation