[en] Deficits of suppression abilities are frequently observed in normal aging and Alzheimer's disease. However, few studies have explored these deficits in the two populations simultaneously using a large battery of tasks. The aim of the present study was to explore if the pattern of performance presented by elderly subjects and AD patients is in agreement with theoretical frameworks [Wilson, S.P., Harnishfeger, K.K., 1998. The development of efficient inhibition: Evidence from directed forgetting tasks. Dev. Rev. 18, 86-123; see also Nigg J.T., 2000. On inhibition/disinhibition in developmental psychopathology: views from cognitive and personality psychology and a working inhibition taxonomy. Psychol. Bull. 126, 220-246], distinguishing between the concepts of inhibition (a voluntary suppression of irrelevant information) and interference (an automatic suppression process occurring prior to conscious awareness). The results obtained demonstrated that (1) there is an alteration of the inhibitory process in normal elderly subjects; (2) inhibitory and interference resolution processes are quantitately less efficient in AD, since these patients present a correct performance only for information which leaves weak traces in memory.
Centre de Recherches du Cyclotron - CRC ; Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives et Comportementales