[en] The authors' aim in this study was to explore automatic and controlled processes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) by using a variant of the word-stem completion task that applies the process-dissociation procedure. Several methodological precautions were taken in order to limit problems observed in previous studies (e.g., poor task sensitivity, ceiling and/or floor effects, no control over comprehension of instructions). Our results (a) confirmed the marked deterioration in controlled processes and (b) showed that when psychometric constraints were limited, automatic memory processes were preserved in AD. These data are in line with those from more global studies in suggesting that AD is characterized by an early deterioration in controlled processes and an initial preservation of automatic processes.
Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives et Comportementales ; Centre de Recherches du Cyclotron - CRC