In the present study we replicated a previous experiment investigating visuo-spatial short term memory binding in young and older healthy individuals, in the attempt to verify the pattern of impairment that can be observed in normal elderly for short term memory for single items vs short term memory for bindings. Assessing a larger sample size (25 young and 25 older subjects), using a more appropriate measure of accuracy for a change detection task (A′), and adding the evaluation of speed of performance, we confirmed that old normals show a decline in short term memory for bindings of shape and colour that is of comparable extent, and not major, to the decline in memory for single shapes and single colours. The absence of a specific deficit of short term memory for conjunctions of surface features seems to distinguish cognitive ageing from Alzheimer’s Disease.
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