Navigation Links
What's his name again? How celebrity monikers can help us remember
Date:12/18/2009

Montreal, December 18, 2009 Famous mugs do more than prompt us into buying magazines, according to new Universit de Montral research. In the December issue of the Canadian Journal on Aging, a team of scientists explain how the ability to name famous faces or access biographical knowledge about celebrities holds clues that could help in early Alzheimer's detection.

"Semantic memory for people triggered through name, voice or face is knowledge we have gathered over the course of our lifetime on a person which enables us to recognize this person," says senior author Sven Joubert, a professor at the Universit de Montral Department of Psychology and a researcher at the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de griatrie de Montral.

The goal of semantic study was to determine whether the ability to recall names of famous people decreases with age, since the condition named anomia ranks among the most common complaints from the elderly. To investigate, Dr. Joubert collaborated with first author Roxane Langlois to divide 117 healthy elderly, aged 60 to 91 years old, into three groups who were submitted to two semantic memory tests.

In a first test, subjects were shown the faces of 30 famous people such as Albert Einstein, Cline Dion, Catherine Deneuve, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Wayne Gretzky. They were first asked to name these famous faces, and then questioned on their professions, nationality and specific life events. In a second test a few weeks later, subjects were shown the names of the same 30 celebrities and were questioned again on biographical knowledge.

The result? Our ability to recall the name of someone we know upon seeing their face declines steadily in normal aging. Semantic memory for people however seems unaffected by age. For instance, even if a subject couldn't name George W. Bush they still knew he was a politician or president of the United States. Another finding is that healthy elderly are better at accessing biographical knowledge about famous people from their names than from their faces. A person's name provides direct access to semantic memory because it is invariant, contrarily to visual stimuli.

These findings motived Dr. Joubert to conduct a second study, in press in Neuropsychologia, on elderly people suffering from mild cognitive impairment and another group in the initial phase of Alzheimer's.

"Our hypothesis was that contrary to the healthy subjects, both these groups should show difficulties finding the names of people, but that they should also show signs of a depleting semantic memory," says Dr. Joubert, adding that since 50 to 80 percent of people with mild cognitive problems develop Alzheimer's over the course of several years.

This semantic memory test could become an essential clinical tool to identify people at risk of developing the disease. Results show that the ability to remember names is even more pronounced in mild cognitive impairment and in early Alzheimer's disease than in normal aging. Contrary to normal aging, however, a decline in semantic memory for famous people was also observed.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
sylvain-jacques.desjardins@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Celebrity Fitness Trainer Valerie Waters and California Raisins Offer Advice on How to Jump Start the New You in the New Year
2. The Help Group Honors Brian Goldner, Mary Urquhart and Max Mayer at its Teddy Bear Ball Featuring Ben Stiller and Celebrity Guests
3. Celebrity Trainer Tracy Anderson Sharing Her Fitness and Diet Secrets This Week
4. S. Epatha Merkerson Lends Star Power to Support the American Lung Associations Christmas Seals Campaign as Celebrity Chairperson
5. Celebrity Dancer, Karina Smirnoff, Speaks Out for the First Time on How ADHD Has Impacted Her Life
6. Silk Partners With Celebrity Fitness Expert Gunnar Peterson to Promote Heart Health
7. Video: Yoplait(R) and Celebrity Breast Cancer Surgeon Dr. Kristi Funk Emphasize Importance of Early Detection and Risk Reduction
8. Target House(R) Celebrates 10 Years with a Celebrity-Studded Big Top Birthday Party
9. Ricardo Antonio Chavira Uses Celebrity to Support Breast Cancer Caregivers
10. Emotions generated by celebrity deaths discussed at Durham conference
11. Celebrity Fitness Trainer Valerie Waters Offers On-the-Go Families Back-to-Basics Tips
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... The ... “Humans With Vaginas.” The goal is to ignite conversation via social media and ... products. The brand has declared September “Humans with Vaginas” month, releasing a video ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... , ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... of older Americans at risk of price gouging for their prescription drugs, according ... (TSCL) . “Because Medicare isn’t negotiating on our behalf, there’s no consistency in ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... , ... “The Trials I Face to Receive God’s Grace”: a mesmerizing ... and goals to better one’s life through God. “The Trials I Face to Receive ... the wrong places, found a love for writing. Green feels that expressing his feelings ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... September 20, 2017 , ... Houston, ... entire team took Friday, September 8, and Monday, September 11, off work and rolled ... Second Baptist Church before heading to local homes to start the process of rebuilding. ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “The Foggy Road to Moorwick”: the adventures of a young Scottish girl yearning ... author, Jeanine Liston, a busy mother of five who used her time waiting for children ... book for over twenty years. It was a way to give some meaning to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/6/2017)... , Sept. 6, 2017  Robert G. Szewc, M.D., ... Professional Member in recognition of his contributions to the ... as a Nephrologist at the practice of Kidney and ... kidney care and hypertension solutions. He has worked in ... of career experience, as well as expertise in kidneys, ...
(Date:9/6/2017)... Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... for galcanezumab and lasmiditan, two investigational treatments for migraine, ... (IHC) taking place Sept. 7-10 in Vancouver ... long-term data from an open-label study evaluating the safety ... and 240 mg) for the prevention of migraine. Galcanezumab ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... , Sept. 5, 2017  Just 18 months after ... is pleased to announce the appointment of three new ... Wynne , Dominic Jones-Phillips and James ... Tammy Wynne ... of market access writers. She has over ten years, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: