Serial position effects in mild cognitive impairment

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2011 Mar;33(3):292-9. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2010.516742. Epub 2010 Dec 2.


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is often associated with the preclinical phase of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Special scoring of word-list recall data for serial position has been suggested to improve discrimination of normal aging from dementia. We examined serial position effects in word-list recall for MCI participants compared to Alzheimer patients and controls. Individuals with MCI, like Alzheimer patients, had a diminished primacy effect in recalling words from a list. No alternative scoring system was better than standard scoring of word-list recall in distinguishing MCI patients from controls. Retention weighted scoring improved the discrimination of MCI and AD groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • ROC Curve
  • Serial Learning / physiology*
  • Verbal Learning / physiology