Abstracts Presented at the Thirtieth Annual International Neuropsychological Society Conference, February 13???16, 2002 Toronto, Canada

2002 Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society  
Even though people could remember precise contents of a social event (e.g., news event) that happened previously, the time of the event occurrence could hardly be retrieved accurately. People sometimes estimate the time of occurrence more recently than the actual time (telescoping bias), while they sometimes, in contrast, estimate the time of occurrence more remotely than the actual time (time expansion bias). The present study examined aging effects of these temporal memory illusions.
more » ... nts were 20 older and 40 young adults. Older adults were those who were more than 60 years old (M age 5 70.1) and all community dwelling. Young adults were nurse college students (M age 5 20.0). Thirty news events that happened during 1985-1999 were selected as question items (2 events were selected for each year). This experiment was conducted on a group in June (older) and December (young) 2000. Each participant was given a booklet and required to read the brief description of each news event and to estimate the date (year) of occurrence. They were encouraged to estimate it as it first came to mind. The results indicate that young adults tend to have time expansion bias only in the events that happened 3-1 years ago, whereas, older adults in contrast, tend to have this bias in the events that happened 6-1 years ago. These results suggest aging effects on temporal memory illusions of social news events; that is, older adults are more retrospectively biased with respect to time expansion than are young adults. and Visual Recognition Discrimination and Response Bias Across the Life-Span. Age-related decline in verbal and visual memory has been well documented in healthy adults, but less is known about memory for odors. The study of odor memory is complicated by the fact that it is thought to integrate primary olfactory function and higher cognitive processes. Older adults demonstrate increased odor thresholds compared to younger cohorts; thus, if age-related changes in odor memory are found, it is unclear to what degree the differences are due to primary olfactory function, cognitive processes, or both. The current study addressed this methodological issue by studying olfactory, verbal, and figural recognition in 110 healthy adults (age range 18-83, M age 5 49.65 years), all of whom passed a 3-stage odor discrimination test prior to participation. Multivariate analyses revealed a decline in recognition accuracy with age across all 3 domains, with less impairment in figural memory among individuals older than 60. Moreover, age-related changes in odor memory were not related to changes in verbal or figural recognition. On the figural recognition task, older individuals demonstrated more liberal response biases than did younger participants. Age-related differences in recognition discrimination and response bias were not accounted for by global cognitive function, smoking history, sex, or ethnicity. These findings suggest that odor recognition declines with age, even among individuals with generally intact olfactory acuity. Reflective of Real-World Functional Ability and Executive Control Functioning. Past research has demonstrated that deficits in executive control functioning (ECF) are related to functional deficits in older adults. The strength and nature of this relationship differs according to whether functional ability is measured using performance-based scales or self-report scales of ability. In the current study, 60 older adults were administered an overall screen of ECF, the Executive Interview (EXIT; Royall, 1989), neuropsychological tests tapping into cognitive ability, a performance-based scale of functional ability, the Direct Assessment of Functional Status (DAFS; Lowenstein 1992), and a self-report measure of function, the Older Americans Resources and Service Scale (OARS; Duke University, 1978). Data analyses revealed that, although performance on the EXIT was related to both measures of functional status, only performance-based functional ability was significantly related to cognitive performance on neuropsychological tests in multiple regression analyses (multiple R 5 .69, adjusted R 2 5 .43, F~4,51! 5 10.49, p , .001). Performance-based functional ability and self-reports of functional ability were related to one another, but only moderately so (r 5 .423, p , .01!. Furthermore, impairment on the DAFS did not significantly predict self-reports of impairment on ADLs (F~10,49! 5 1.876, p 5 .072!, and was only minimally related to selfreports of IADL impairment (F~10,49! 5 2.043, p 5 .049!. Such findings indicate that self-report and performance-based measures of functional ability may be measuring different basic constructs. Performance-based measures may be most reflective of real world ability, ECF, and cognitive status, while self-reports may be reflective of motivation or participant perception. tia: Criteria and Validation. Existing clinical labels used to define cognitively impaired elderly persons suffer from several shortcomings, including being overly restrictive, unreliable, and often inappropriate. The present study offers criteria for objectively validated cognitive impairment that may not only circumvent these limitations, but also possess several unique advantages. The criteria set encompasses a broader and more heterogeneous range of impaired individuals, is not limited to amnesic deficits, is comparable across samples, has the possibility for uniform application, and is more specific to decliners. The validation process involved the application of the criteria to participants in the longitudinal Canadian Study of Health and Aging. This process revealed strong concurrent validity, as meeting objective cognitive impairment criteria was found to be related to both poor global cognitive functioning and greater impairment in activities of daily living. As well, good predictive validity was demonstrated in the relationship of the criteria to the 5-year outcomes of further cognitive loss, progression to dementia, institutionalization, and death. Further regression analysis yielded significant contributions of all of the individual criteria to the prediction of the studied outcomes. The proposed criteria appear to be a sensitive and valid approach to detecting mild cognitive impairment in aging individuals, while its reliability remains to be determined. examining persons aged 65 and older has focused on factors that influence perceptions of subjective well-being among older adults. Prior research indicates that physical health and various aspects of social support have substantial influences on subjective well-being among the elderly. Unfortunately, much of the research in these areas is hampered by methodological problems, including imprecise definitions of terms, the use of measures with poor psychometric properties, and incomplete assessment of the constructs of interest. This study investigated the cognitive and psychosocial predictors of subjective wellbeing among adults 65 years of age and older. Participants were 129 community dwelling older adults ages 65 to 89 years of age (66% female, M age of 75 years) who volunteered participation through 1 of 6 senior centers in the Detroit metropolitan area. Cognitive and psychosocial measures were used for their ability to predict subjective well-being. Results indicated that these variables are important in predicting happiness independent of demographic variables. Evidence from this study suggests that the use of emotion-focused coping and lack of perceived health was associated with diminished perceptions of well-being. Lack of perceived health had a more negative impact on perceptions of well-being than actual health status. Social support quantity and quality were both equivocally important to happiness. Higher cognitive functioning was also related to life satisfaction and pleasant emotions. Education was found to moderate the influence of cognitive status on subjective well-being. O. REY & L. MURRAY. Effects of Test Variations on Elderly Adults Attention Performances. Attention is an important neuropsychological function that regulates the cognitive resources necessary to process and use acquired information. The Test of Everyday Attention (TEA; Robertson et al., 1996) is a commonly used tool for the assessment of different attentional systems in subjects between 18 and 80 years of age. In this study, we evaluated a group of 37 healthy adults older than 75 years, with normal or corrected to normal vision and hearing, and scores higher than 26 on the MMSE (Folstein et al., 1975). Subjects were given both standardized and experimental versions of 2 TEA subtests. The Visual Elevator Task (VET) was modified in terms of scoring procedure: Participants received independent credit for each individual shift of attention instead of one score based on the participant's final answer for each item. The Elevator Task with Reversal (ETR) was altered to allow more time between the auditory stimuli, while keeping a fixed stimulus presentation speed. Results from the modified VET showed that the elderly subjects obtained higher scores when given independent credit for each correct attention shift, and that compared the standardized VET, these results had a stronger correlation with their performance of other TEA subtests. A comparison of data obtained from the standardized and experimental ETR showed improved performance on the subtest when time between stimuli was increased (i.e., experimental version). These results suggest that controlling test conditions and examining for differences in processing speed allow a more precise assessment of attentional processes in the older population. A Cross-Sectional Comparison of Frontal Lobe Development and Aging. This study assessed the influence of age (15 right-handed male children, 14 right-handed college students, and 14 right-handed elderly men) on cerebral laterality. Previous research findings indicate that the frontal lobe functions are the first to deteriorate through the normal aging process. Further, support, though mixed, for right-frontal aging has been found among the results of previous research findings. Perseveration, an inability to discontinue an initiated action, has been well documented with deterioration, lesion, or relative dysfunction of the frontal lobes. Motor perseverations are common as premotor, motor, dorsolateral frontal, and orbital frontal regions share intimate connections. A hand dynamometer was used as a standardized measure of lateralized hemispheric functioning. Perseveration was assessed by requesting the subject to squeeze the dynamometer one-half as hard as their initial full strength effort. The amount of overshoot past one-half was designated as perseveration. Geriatric men displayed significantly more perseveration, or overshoot, than did the college-aged males, and male children, who were fairly accurate. These results were predicted, and suggest relative anterior cerebral activity differences between the 3 groups. In accordance with theories on frontal lobe deterioration with age, geriatric men performed poorly on the perseveration task, relative to the other 2 groups. However, asymmetries were not evidenced which is counter to the right hemi-aging hypothesis. These results are discussed from a functional cerebral systems approach and contribute to the literature in delineating more specifically frontal systems affected by age. Analysis of the error data revealed that the young group produced twice as many errors in the memory condition on congruent trials (solid black circle) than the elderly group, suggesting that the young, but not the elderly, maintained an active state of inhibition on this task. Correspondence: Paraskevi Vivien Rekkas, . Age Differences in Recall of Famous Names: Impact of Familiarity, Frequency of Exposure, and Semantic Knowledge. This study investigated the relative contributions of familiarity, semantic knowledge, and frequency of exposure on incidental recall of famous names. Eight healthy older participants (mean age 5 72.6, SD 5 5.4) and 18 healthy younger participants (mean age 5 23.7, SD 5 2.6) viewed a series of names of individuals who: (1) became famous in the 1990's; (2) became famous between 1950 and 1970 and are still well-known today (e.g., Marilyn Monroe); (3) achieved a briefer period of fame between 1950 and 1970 (e.g., Pier Angeli); and (4) are not famous. Our behavioral analyses focused on the first 2 fame categories. Names were presented as part of an f MRI scanning protocol at the rate of 4 sec0name, at which time participants indicated by button press if they recognized the name as famous or not. Outside the scanner, participants were asked to recall as many of the previously presented names as possible. Participants were then given a list of previously presented names and were asked to indicate whether each name was famous and to rate the degree of semantic knowledge and the frequency of exposure to the name over the last year. Older participants recalled fewer names than younger participants, although their recognition accuracy and frequency of exposure significantly exceeded that of younger persons. Semantic knowledge ratings did not differ between groups. Results suggest that the recall deficit for older persons is associated with a breakdown in retrieval efficiency as opposed to loss of semantic knowledge with advanced age.
doi:10.1017/s1355617702822019 fatcat:3oxum6t47jhxdkyttu2aqc2mwi