Mnemonic Monitoring in Anosognosia for Memory Loss

Chapman, Silvia; Cosentino, Stephanie; Igwe, Kay; Abdurahman, Ayat; Elkind, Mitchell S.V.; Brickman, Adam M.; Charlton, Rebecca A and Cocchini, Gianna. 2020. Mnemonic Monitoring in Anosognosia for Memory Loss. Neuropsychology, 34(6), pp. 675-685. ISSN 0894-4105 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Objective: Anosognosia, or unawareness, for memory loss has been proposed to underlie cognitive functions such as memory and executive function. However, there is an inconsistent association between these constructs. Recent studies have shown that compromise ongoing self-monitoring of one’s memory associates with anosognosia for memory loss. Yet to date it is unclear which memory monitoring mechanisms are impaired in these patients. In this study, we examined the extent to which temporal monitoring or orbitofrontal reality filtering (e.g., ability to monitor the temporal relevance of a memory) and source monitoring (e.g., the ability to distinguish which memories stem from internal as opposed to external sources) are associated with awareness of memory deficits.
Methods: A total of 35 patients (M=69 years; M=14 years of education) with memory difficulties following a stroke were recruited from outpatient clinics. Patients were assessed with measures of self-awareness of memory difficulties, cognitive abilities and two experimental paradigms assessing source and temporal monitoring.
Results and conclusion: Results showed that patients unaware of their memory difficulties were more likely to externalize the source of their memories. Specifically, those unaware of their deficits were more likely to assign an external source to memories that were internally produced (e.g., imagined). No differences were observed in relation to temporal monitoring between patients aware and unaware of their deficits. This study informs current theoretical models of self-awareness of memory loss. Future studies should attempt to replicate these findings and explore different memory monitoring mechanisms in relation to anosognosia for memory loss.

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"©American Psychological Association, [2020]. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: 10.1037/neu0000643"


Anosognosia, unawareness, memory, reality filtering, monitoring

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Psychology > Centre for Cognition, Computation and Culture (CCCC)


6 April 2020Accepted
2020Published Online

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Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2020 09:57

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2021 19:57

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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