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Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 2075-9479


RIO, Miriam Del; SATINOSKY, Viviana; MAURINO, Alberto  and  LABOS, Edith. Psycholinguistic analysis of the recall of narrative texts in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana [online]. 2010, vol.2, n.1, pp. 87-94. ISSN 2075-9479.

Failures in Episodic Memory (EM) constitute a valuable preclinical cognitive marker in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Along with the semantic memory, this long-term recall subsystem allows to retrieve information related to events as well as to place them in a time-spatial context. Clinical Neuropsychology employs different procedures for its evaluation including tasks such as autobiographical recall, recall of stories, learning and immediate retrieval of visual and/or verbal stimuli under the form of word or images lists without evident connection. Instruments for assessing story recall, unlike word lists, are quite exceptional to find and constitute a more ecological task, requiring a complex cognitive activity sustained by well-defined brain regions. Aiming to study the characteristics of verbal memory at a textual level in a population with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), the Spanish version of the Text Recall task (Cadilhac et al., 2003) was administered. The structural characteristics of the text enabled to carry out a psycholinguistic analysis of the outcomes, extracting relevant information related to the mnemonic strategies used in this task. A neuropsychological study including global and specific scales was performed with 21 patients diagnosed with amnesic MCI (age 71.86 ± 6.33 years; education 7.85 ± 2.48 years) and its results were later compared with a control group. MCI patients showed significant differences regarding the percentage of macrostructural elements recalled in free recall and microstructural elements in the three recall phases (free, cued and delayed recall). These findings allow to corroborate the EM deficits in the studied population, the value of a thorough codification for the long-term retrieval of the text's macrostructural elements as well as the selective failures of codification/retrieval of microstructural elements that demonstrate hierarchical strategies for information management.

Keywords : Episodic memory; MCI; Macrostructure; Microstructure; Text memory task.

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