Modeling and estimating recall processing capacity: Sensitivity and diagnostic utility in application to mild cognitive impairment

Michael J. Wenger, Selamawit Negash, Ronald C. Petersen, Lyndsay Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the potential for using latency-based measures of retrieval processing capacity to assess changes in performance specific to individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a reliable precursor state to Alzheimer's Disease. Use of these capacity measures is motivated in part by exploration of the effects of atrophy on a computational model of a basic hippocampal circuit. We use this model to suggest that capacity may be a more sensitive indicator of the underlying atrophy than speed of processing, and test this hypothesis by adapting a standard behavioral measure of memory (the free and cued selective reminding test, FCSRT) to allow for the collection of cued recall latencies. Participants were drawn from five groups: college-aged, middle-aged, healthy elderly, those with a diagnosis of MCI, and a sample of MCI control participants. The measure of capacity is shown to offer increased classificatory sensitivity relative to the standard behavioral measures, and is also shown to be the behavioral measure that correlated most strongly with hippocampal volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Mathematical Psychology
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Memory
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Processing capacity
  • Reaction times

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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