Merav Papirovitz and Ariela Gigi* Pages 136 - 141 ( 6 )
Background: Subjective memory complaints are a key component in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnosis. However, studies that examined memory awareness among MCI participants have published contradictory results. One possible explanation for the inconsistent findings could be the disregard from the multidimensional structure of subjective memory.
Objectives: The present study is directed at assessing subjective memory among healthy and MCI participants, referring to three main types of memory: episodic, semantic, and working memory.
Methods: Participants were 123 adults (aged 50-90). They were divided into two groups, the MCI group, and the control group, according to their objective cognitive performance in RAVL or Mo- CA tests. All participants filled a subjective memory questionnaire, assessing their awareness of episodic, semantic, and working memory.
Results: MCI participants estimated their semantic memory as significantly lower in comparison to the estimation of the healthy controls. By contrast, MCI participants showed an overestimation of their episodic memory capabilities compared to the control group. No significant difference was found between groups (MCI and healthy controls) in evaluating their working memory. In addition, for both groups, Pearson’s correlation revealed a significant negative correlation between age and semantic memory evaluation. Such correlation was not found for subjective episodic memory.
Discussion: Findings suggest that while people with MCI exhibit poor awareness of their episodic and working memory capabilities, their awareness of their decrease in semantic memory is apparently intact. Therefore, it is suggested that when using the self-report criterion for MCI diagnosis, clinicians should consider the patient’s’ semantic memory complaints.
Meta-memory, anosognosia, subjective memory complaints (SMC), cognitive decline, awareness, dementia.
Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Ariel University, Ariel 44837, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Ariel University, Ariel 44837