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Poster D59

Event processing and memory in Mild Cognitive Impairment

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Flavia De Luca1 (, Naji Tabet2, Chris Bird1; 1University of Sussex, 2Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Humans perceive everyday experiences as a sequence of individual events, typically involving people carrying out certain activities in a particular location. A change in the ongoing situation is usually perceived as an “event boundary”, which marks the passage of this information into long-term memory and signals the start of a new event. Therefore, the ability to detect event changes is crucial to understand and remember situations. We tested event processing and memory in individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), who typically show a long-term episodic memory impairment. However, it is unclear whether MCI also causes problems in comprehending a situation as it unfolds and in recalling something immediately after it happens. Thirty MCI adults and thirty healthy controls listened to short stories narrating life-like situations. Five stories described separate activities (e.g., baking then reading the newspaper), five equally long stories concerned a single activity (e.g., baking). Participants recalled these stories immediately after their presentation and an hour later. Participants then read the same stories and marked the narrative changes. Individuals with MCI found it difficult to mark story changes and were less likely than healthy controls to detect switches across separate activities. Also, compared to controls, they were impaired at recalling both types of stories, not only after a long delay, but even immediately after their presentation, and this difficulty was more pronounced for stories with more changes. These results suggest that MCI individuals’ difficulties in processing story changes disrupt both their comprehension and their memory of a certain situation.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024