Using an Implicit Memory Task to Estimate Premorbid Memory


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Abstract

Clinicians are often asked to determine if significant memory loss has occurred. Clinical judgment figures prominently in making these determinations, because there is no accepted, objective method for estimating premorbid memory. Two studies were designed to explore the utility of an implicit memory task, Anagrams Solutions, for estimating premorbid memory ability. A secondary goal was to identify predictors of immediate and delayed memory measured by the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status using selected intellectual (IQ) and demographic variables. Participants in both studies were administered the implicit memory task, explicit memory measures, and IQ estimate. Results revealed that Anagrams Solutions was not a useful estimate of premorbid memory and that a combination of IQ and demographic variables accounted for 24–31% of the variance in measured memory performances. Findings point to the need for caution in interpreting scores on these variables as valid estimates of premorbid memory functioning.

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