Memory and metamemory performance in Alzheimer's disease and healthy elderly: The Contextual Memory Test (CMT)

N. Gil, N. Josman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the present study was to examine the ability of the Contextual Memory Test (CMT) to differentiate between elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD) in comparison to healthy elderly people. Specifically, the objectives were to compare for differences between and within the groups on components of memory, including immediate and delayed recall as well as recognition. In addition, parameters of metamemory skills, such as general awareness, self-prediction of memory capacity, self-estimation, strategy use and use of contextual information, as well as the correlation between self-awareness and actual performance in both groups, were investigated. The sample consisted of 60 elderly participants, including 30 people diagnosed with AD who were assigned to the research group and 30 people matched for age, gender and educational level who were assigned to the control group. The results provide support for the hypothesis positing differences in memory performance between healthy elderly participants and those suffering from AD, particularly in immediate and delayed recall as well as in recognition. Moreover, findings indicate an improvement in memory performance under the cued condition (contextual), whereas improvement in the AD group proved to be significant only for immediate recall. The findings point to a distinct overestimation of memory ability predicted by both the AD and control groups. Following the memory task, however, the participants accurately estimated the number of items they remembered. In addition, significant correlations between the use of contextual and association strategies and the number of items remembered by both groups were obtained, in immediate as well as in delayed recall. Therefore, these findings support the CMT as a valuable memory and metamemory assessment tool for use with the AD population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Contextual Memory Test (CMT)
  • Elderly
  • Memory performance
  • Memory strategies
  • Metamemory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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