The SRT allows for the simultaneous analysis of several components of verbal memory, such as short and long term retrieval. Effects of age, sex and education on SRT performance were assessed. Furthermore, an effect of education was found favoring participants who completed a higher education. Normative data quantified through percentile ranks and stratified by age, sex and education level are provided. A well-functioning memory is essential in our everyday life.
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Thielen] on request. Additionally, the dataset was donated to the Advanced Neuropsychological Diagnostics Infrastructure project de Vent et al. The SRT allows for the simultaneous analysis of several components of verbal memory, such as short and long term retrieval. Effects of age, sex and education on SRT performance were assessed. Results indicate that SRT performance decreased with age and that this decline accelerated in men compared to women.
Furthermore, an effect of education was found favoring participants who completed a higher education. Normative data quantified through percentile ranks and stratified by age, sex and education level are provided. A well-functioning memory is essential in our everyday life. It allows us to remember who we are, what we did in the past and what we want to do in the near and far future. Furthermore, the memory processes of retention, recall and recognition are fundamental to learning. Even in neurotypical individuals, simply growing older can impair memory, which is known as age-associated memory impairment Crook et al.
Given its importance for everyday life and its vulnerability to ageing and disease, memory is a key element in neuropsychological assessment Lezak et al. Consequently, several measures have been developed to assess different aspects of memory, including episodic memory, visuospatial memory, autobiographical memory and verbal memory for a review, see Lezak et al.
Verbal memory refers to the retention, recall and recognition of language-based material Vanderploeg et al. The AVLT is a word-list learning test where a list of 15 unrelated items list A is read aloud during five consecutive trials. Immediate recall of this list follows each presentation. After the fifth trial, an interference list of 15 unrelated items list B is presented.
Participants are then asked to recall list B prior to recalling list A. After a delay of 20 minutes, participants are asked once more to recall list A as well as to complete a recognition test.
During the recognition test, participants have to distinguish items from list A from distractors items from list B and items semantically or phonologically related to items from lists A or B. The AVLT is considered a conventional assessment of verbal memory due to the continuous presentation of items.
The disadvantage of continuous presentation is that differentiation between retrieval from the short and long term memory is not possible Lezak et al. In contrast to the AVLT and other conventional verbal memory measures using continuous presentation, the Buschke selective reminding test Buschke, uses selective presentation of the to be remembered items.
The SRT is a word-list learning test where 12 unrelated items are presented during a maximum of 12 consecutive trials. Instead of presenting all the items simultaneously on each trial i. Contrary to continuous presentation, selective presentation facilitates the distinction between short and long term retrieval.
Since not all items are necessarily presented at the beginning of each trial, participants can recall items without being reminded of them at the beginning of the trial. While recall without reminding indicates retrieval from the long term memory, recall after reminding is assumed to tap onto short term memory.
The ability to differentiate between short and long term retrieval is beneficial for several reasons. For instance, an abnormally high dependence on short term memory during recall is indicative of an impairment in long term memory, which is a characteristic symptom of neurodegenerative disorders Masur et al.
Furthermore, short and long term retrieval can be impaired independently from one another Della Sala et al. The selective presentation of items during the SRT allows for the simultaneous evaluation of several components of memory. In addition to short and long term retrieval, it assesses total recall, long term storage, multiple choice recognition, delayed recall and whether retrieval from the long term memory is organized or not consistent long term retrieval.
It is further supported by its ability to differentiate between different types of neurodegenerative disorders Salmon et al. Because of its widespread use, different versions of the SRT have been developed.
Generally, memory declines with age, women outperform men and higher education is associated with better SRT performance. In addition, performance of men declines more rapidly with increasing age than performance of women and performance of individuals with lower education declines more rapidly compared to individuals that completed a college education Wiederholt et al.
Similar effects of age, sex and education were found for other verbal memory measures including the AVLT e. Miatton et al. The decrease in verbal memory performance with increasing age can be explained by the higher incidence of mild cognitive impairment and dementia in older adults aged over 60 e.
Lobo et al. Other explanations offered for age-associated memory decline include genetic contributions for a review see Small, , structural and functional brain changes e. Cabeza et al.
For verbal memory specifically, age-related structural and functional brain changes include atrophy in the medial temporal lobe Pelletier et al. Lastly, age-related decline in other cognitive functions such as processing speed and executive functioning e. Similarly, various explanations are offered regarding sex differences in verbal memory performance. Neurobiological explanations include differences in hormonal influences, brain anatomy and physiology Chen et al.
Structural brain differences have also been suggested to explain the accelerated decline of memory performance in men compared to women.
Gur and colleagues found increased and faster brain atrophy in older men compared to older women aged 55 and up. Furthermore, for men atrophy was dominant in the left hemisphere while for women atrophy was more symmetrical in both hemispheres. Lastly, social explanations have been offered including difference in sociodemographic variables and health habits between men and women Jorm et al.
This effect can be linked to the cognitive reserve theory. In the cognitive reserve theory, the brain is thought to use certain processes to actively cope with brain pathology in order to compensate for possible cognitive impairments Stern, ; Stern, One of the processes supporting this coping mechanism is education. Other factors include socioeconomic status, intelligence, occupational attainment and mental stimulation which are associated with education Stern, The objectives of the current study are to provide normative data for the Flemish SRT, considering different demographic characteristics.
This will allow for the investigation of the effects of age, sex and education on verbal memory performance. We recruited neurologically healthy volunteers men and women. To earn extra credits on their final examination, students each had to recruit two to three participants. Exclusion criteria for participants were a history of neurological, cardiovascular or psychiatric disease.
All participants reported that Flemish was their dominant language. Education level 1: primary and elementary education. Education level 2: technical secondary education and vocational secondary education. Education level 3: general secondary school diploma and bachelor degree. The items of the newly formed list were words that frequently occur in the Flemish language, are normally acquired in Flemish speaking individuals with primary education, and had no apparent semantic or phonetic association with the other items in the list.
The amount of syllable nouns per item ranged from one to three. Data were collected in a quiet room without distraction. Participants were asked to give verbal informed consent prior to the data acquisition. Subsequently, the examiner asked the participants 1 information on basic demographic information age, sex and education level ; 2 if they had a probable history of neurological, psychiatric or cardiovascular disease; and 3 if Flemish was their primary language. If participants reported a history of neurological, cardiovascular or psychiatric disease or limited knowledge of the Flemish language acquisition, the SRT was not administered and participants were excluded from the study.
The SRT was administered following the procedure described by Buschke The examiner read each item aloud at a rate of one item per two seconds. The participant had to recall as many items in any possible order.
Afterwards, the examiner only presented the items that the participant had not recalled on the immediately preceding trial. Again, the participant had to try to recall as many items as possible from the entire list of 12 items.
This procedure was repeated for 12 trials or until the participant recalled the entire list of 12 items on three consecutive trials without needing any reminding. The learning trials were followed by a multiple choice recognition task. Subjects were given four items which included an item from the list, a semantically related item, a phonemic related item and an unrelated item.
From this list participants had to select the item that was present in the learned list. This was repeated for each item of the list. After a delay of 30 minutes, the participant had to again recall as many items as possible without receiving any reminders concerning the original list.
The test allows for simultaneous examination of several measures: total recall, long term retrieval, long term storage, short term retrieval, consistent long term retrieval, number of correct recognized multiple choice items and delayed recall.
For each learning trial, the number of intrusions was also recorded. The total recall, long term retrieval, short term retrieval, long term storage and consistent long term scores were calculated by adding the scores of the twelve individual trials.
If the test was concluded prematurely because the participants recalled all the items on three consecutive trials a maximum score was given for the following trials. Descriptive statistics. Since the dependent variables total recall, long term retrieval, long term storage, short term retrieval, consistent long term retrieval, multiple choice recognition and delayed recall did not follow a normal distribution normative data were quantified through percentile ranks. The normative data were stratified according to sex, age category and education level see Appendix B.
Normative data percentile ranks of males for total recall, stratified according to age category and education level. Normative data percentile ranks of females for total recall, stratified according to age category and education level. Effects of demographic variables on SRT performance. The variables sex and education level were dummy coded using men as a reference group for sex and level 1 for education level. Age was added to the regression model as a continuous variable. Since the relationship between age and SRT performance was non-linear, a polynomial regression including a quadratic relationship between age and SRT performance was computed.
The robust regression procedure determined outliers for each dependent variable and gave them a weight of zero without having to delete the outliers. There were two outliers for total recall, one outlier for long term retrieval, 20 outliers for short term retrieval, 17 for long term storage and for delayed recall.
All statistical analyses were performed using R 3. R core Team, Predicted and observed multiple choice recognition scores MCR stratified according to sex and education level.
Flemish Normative Data for the Buschke Selective Reminding Test
Thielen] on request. Additionally, the dataset was donated to the Advanced Neuropsychological Diagnostics Infrastructure project de Vent et al. The SRT allows for the simultaneous analysis of several components of verbal memory, such as short and long term retrieval. Effects of age, sex and education on SRT performance were assessed.
Selective Reminding Test
Verbal selective reminding test VSRT. The Buschke Selective Reminding Test SRT is a test designed to measure verbal learning and memory through the use of a list-learning procedure over multiple trials. This paradigm is believed to separate verbal memory into distinct processes. The adult SRT involves reading the subject a list of 12 unrelated words and then having the subject immediately recall as many of these 12 words as possible. Every trial after the first involves selectively presenting only those words in which the subject did not recall on the immediately preceding trial.
The Selective Reminding Test measures memory performance and norms are provided based on a large group of healthy Flemish individuals. The effects of age, gender and education level on memory performance have been studied Huybrechts, S. All three demographic variables seem to have an important influence on all measures of the Selective Reminding Test. First, memory performance declines with increasing age. In addition men show a more rapid decline than women. Second, women outperform men in this verbal list learning. Third, the current results show a significant influence of education level as well, favouring the higher educated subjects.