Advances in Alzheimer's Research

Volume: 2

Memory, Awareness and Consciousness in Alzheimer’s Disease

Author(s): Céline Souchay and Chris J.A. Moulin

Pp: 3-32 (30)

DOI: 10.2174/9781608058525114020003

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Human memory can be split into familiarity and recollection processes which contribute to different aspects of memory function. These separate processes result in different experiential states. In this review, we examine how this dominant theoretical framework can explain the subjective experience of people with Alzheimer’s disease, the profile of their memory impairments and their inability to reflect on their performance metacognitively. We conclude with a brief overview of the brain regions supporting conscious experience of memory, and propose that the memory and awareness deficits seen in Alzheimer’s disease could be primarily conceived of as a deficit in autonoetic consciousness. We briefly introduce how these these robust constructs are being incorporated into research programmes examining rehabilitation and pharmacological intervention.

Keywords: Awareness, familiarity, metacognition, recollection.

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