Source monitoring in Alzheimer's disease
SourceBrain and Cognition, 80, 2, (2012), pp. 185-191
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
Brain and Cognition
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Source monitoring is the process of making judgments about the origin of memories. There are three categories of source monitoring: reality monitoring (discrimination between self- versus other-generated sources), external monitoring (discrimination between several external sources), and internal monitoring (discrimination between two types of self-generated sources). We investigated whether Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients, when compared with young and older adults, are impaired at the same level on the three source monitoring categories. We designed three tasks, one for each source monitoring category. In the first task, aimed at reality monitoring, participants had to remember whether objects were previously placed in a bag by themselves or by the experimenter. In the second task, assessing external monitoring, participants had to remember whether the experimenter had previously placed objects in the bag with a black or white gloved hand. In the third task, measuring internal monitoring, participants had to remember whether they had previously placed or imagined themselves placing objects in the bag. Participants showed worse performances in the external and internal monitoring tasks, when compared with reality monitoring. The external monitoring deficit was even more pronounced in AD patients. Regression analyses showed that variation in the external monitoring performances was reliably predicted by inhibition. Our results emphasize the role of inhibitory processes in AD patients’ source monitoring decline. The close relation between source and inhibitory decline in AD is interpreted in terms of a common neural base for both concepts.
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