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Is emotional memory enhancement preserved in amnestic mild cognitive impairment? Evidence from separating recollection and familiarity


Wang, Pengyun, Li, Juan, Li, Huijie, Li, Bing, Jiang, Yang, Bao, Feng, Zhang, Shouzi


Neuropsychology, Volume: 27, No.: 6, Pages.: 691-701

Year of Publication



Objective: This study investigated whether the observed absence of emotional memory enhancement in recognition tasks in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) could be related to their greater proportion of familiarity-based responses for all stimuli, and whether recognition tests with emotional items had better discriminative power for aMCI patients than those with neutral items.; Method: In total, 31 aMCI patients and 30 healthy older adults participated in a recognition test followed by remember/know judgments. Positive, neutral, and negative faces were used as stimuli.; Results: For overall recognition performance, emotional memory enhancement was found only in healthy controls; they remembered more negative and positive stimuli than neutral ones. For “remember” responses, we found equivalent emotional memory enhancement in both groups, though a greater proportion of “remember” responses was observed in normal controls. For “know” responses, aMCI patients presented a larger proportion than normal controls did, and their “know” responses were not affected by emotion. A negative correlation was found between emotional enhancement effect and the memory performance related to “know” responses. In addition, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed higher diagnostic accuracy for recognition test with emotional stimuli than with neutral stimuli.; Conclusions: The present results implied that the absence of the emotional memory enhancement effect in aMCI patients might be related to their tendency to rely more on familiarity-based “know” responses for all stimuli. Furthermore, recognition memory tests using emotional stimuli may be better able than neutral stimuli to differentiate people with aMCI from cognitively normal older adults.; PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

Bibtex Citation

@article{Wang_2013, doi = {10.1037/a0033973}, url = {}, year = 2013, publisher = {American Psychological Association ({APA})}, volume = {27}, number = {6}, pages = {691--701}, author = {Pengyun Wang and Juan Li and Huijie Li and Bing Li and Yang Jiang and Feng Bao and Shouzi Zhang}, title = {Is emotional memory enhancement preserved in amnestic mild cognitive impairment? Evidence from separating recollection and familiarity.}, journal = {Neuropsychology} }


aged, aged, 80 and over, analysis of variance, complications, emotions, executive function, female, humans, male, memory disorders, mental recall, middle aged, mild cognitive impairment, neuropsychological tests, physiology, recognition psychology

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Types of Study

Cohort Study

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Diagnostic Target Identification