Using a computerized matching-to-sample task, nonverbal visual recognition memory was studied in two groups of patients suffering from senile dementia of the Alzheimer type or the recently described senile dementia of the Lewy body type. The patients' cognitive abilities had been shown to be similar according to a number of standard psychometric tests. The two groups did not differ with respect to simultaneous matching-to-sample performance, although both were impaired relative to control. The group with senile dementia of the Lewy body type was severely impaired, relative to the group with senile dementia of the Alzheimer type, when delays (delayed matching to sample) were introduced. The findings suggest that short-term mnemonic processes, mediated by temporal lobe structures, could be more severely affected in senile dementia of the Lewy body type.