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Early detection of memory impairments in older adults: standardization of a short version of the verbal and nonverbal Recognition Memory Test

  • Authors: Daniela Smirni, Pietro Smirni, Giovanni Di Martino, Maria Lorena Fontana, Lisa Cipolotti, Massimiliano Oliveri, Patrizia Turriziani
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


In several neurological conditions, in elderly and cognitively impaired subjects, memory functioning must be evaluated to early detect the cognitive deterioration processes. In particular, recognition memory assessment is an essential step in the clinical and neuropsychological evaluation of early memory impairments. The Recognition Memory Test (RMT) developed by Smirni et al. (G Ital Psicol XXXVII(1):325–343, 2010) is an effective instrument to assess verbal and nonverbal recognition memory in the Italian population. The current study provides a new, brief, and reliable RMT format to evaluate recognition memory on elderly subjects and it reports normative data in an older adult Italian population sample (including 100 participants well distributed across sex, education, and age categories). The shortened version of RMT keeps the administration procedures and materials of the original Italian RMT constant, i.e., words, faces, and buildings. Multiple regression analysis revealed significant effects of age and educational level on performance but no effect of sex. Inferential cutoffs have been determined and equivalent scores computed. The availability of equivalent scores for the Recognition Memory Test will prove useful in the clinical evaluation of patients’ memory profiles.