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Perception and reality of cognitive function: information processing speed, perceived memory function, and perceived task difficulty in older adults

Torrens-Burton, Anna, Basoudan, Nasreen, Bayer, Antony and Tales, Andrea 2017. Perception and reality of cognitive function: information processing speed, perceived memory function, and perceived task difficulty in older adults. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 60 (4) , pp. 1601-1609. 10.3233/JAD-170599

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Abstract

This study examines the relationships between two measures of information processing speed associated with executive function (Trail Making Test and a computer-based visual search test), the perceived difficulty of the tasks, and perceived memory function (measured by the Memory Functioning Questionnaire) in older adults (aged 50+ y) with normal general health, cognition (Montreal Cognitive Assessment score of 26+), and mood. The participants were recruited from the community rather than through clinical services, and none had ever sought or received help from a health professional for a memory complaint or mental health problem. For both the trail making and the visual search tests, mean information processing speed was not correlated significantly with perceived memory function. Some individuals did, however, reveal substantially slower information processing speeds (outliers) that may have clinical significance and indicate those who may benefit most from further assessment and follow up. For the trail making, but not the visual search task, higher levels of subjective memory dysfunction were associated with a greater perception of task difficulty. The relationship between actual information processing speed and perceived task difficulty also varied with respect to the task used. These findings highlight the importance of taking into account the type of task and metacognition factors when examining the integrity of information processing speed in older adults, particularly as this measure is now specifically cited as a key cognitive subdomain within the diagnostic framework for neurocognitive disorders.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: IOS Press
ISSN: 1387-2877
Funders: BRACE
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 15 August 2017
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 05:02
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/105485

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