Sergio Della Sala's research while affiliated with The University of Edinburgh and other places

Publications (550)

Article
Full-text available
The ability to maintain visual working memory (VWM) associations about the identity and location of objects has at times been found to decrease with age. To date, however, this age-related difficulty was mostly observed in artificial visual contexts (e.g., object arrays), and so it is unclear whether it may manifest in naturalistic contexts, and in...
Article
Aphantasia refers to the inability to summon images to one's own mind's eye, resulting in selective deficits of voluntary object imagery. In the present study, we investigated whether M. X., a case of acquired aphantasia, can still retain some form of spatial transformation processes even though he is unable to subjectively experience voluntary obj...
Article
Full-text available
Temporary feature bindings can be learned under specific experimental conditions. However, how this learning occurs and how it is forgotten over long intervals is unclear. We addressed this question with repeated presentation of an array of coloured shapes followed by verbal free recall after delays of one day, one week, and one month. A total of 1...
Article
Recent findings demonstrate that selective retrieval practice (SRP), specifically the retrieval of subparts of material, not just retrieval of the entire encoded material, can enhance later memory performance. We present two experiments that investigated whether SRP enhances memory performance among older adults. We also examined to what extent thi...
Article
Objective: Short-term memory (STM) binding tests assess the ability to temporarily hold conjunctions between surface features, such as objects and their colors (i.e., feature binding condition), relative to the ability to hold the individual features (i.e., single feature condition). Impairments in performance of these tests have been considered c...
Article
People may cling to false facts even in the face of updated and correct information. The present study confronted misconceptions about the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and a novel, fictitious Zika vaccine. Two experiments are reported, examining misconceptions as motivated by a poor risk understanding (Experiment 1, N = 130) or the exposure t...
Poster
Full-text available
Some authors report fast forgetting in early Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) (1), others do not (2). Slamecka and McElree (3), in a series of experiments using memory for words, showed that in healthy volunteers the degree of initial learning affected the intercepts but not the slopes of forgetting curves. Within Slamecka and McElree’s experimental design...
Article
Full-text available
In a seminal study, Slamecka and McElree showed that the degree of initial learning of verbal material affected the intercepts but not the slopes of forgetting curves. However, more recent work has reported that memories for central events (gist) and memory for secondary details (peripheral) were forgotten at different rates over periods of days, w...
Preprint
The ability to maintain visual working memory (VWM) associations about the identity and location of objects decrease with age. To date, however, this age-related difficulty was mostly observed in artificial visual contexts (e.g., object arrays), and so it is unclear whether it may manifest in naturalistic contexts, and in which ways. In this eye-tr...
Article
Objective To study awareness of problems with one’s own Activities of Daily Living (ADL) following stroke by means of a novel instrument—the Visual-Analogue Test for Anosognosia for Activities of Daily Living (VATA-ADL). Methods The new test overcomes some of the methodological problems of traditional structured interviews and self-rating question...
Preprint
BACKGROUND: The individual and complementary value of the Visual Short-Term Memory Binding Test (VSTMBT) and the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) as markers to trace the AD continuum was investigated. It was hypothesised that the VSTMBT would be an early indicator while the FCSRT would inform on imminent progression. METHODS: Healthy...
Article
Full-text available
It is commonly assumed that the rate of forgetting depends on initial degree of learning. Hence, comparison of forgetting across groups is usually carried out equating initial performance. However, these matching procedures add confounding variables. In four experiments, following Slamecka and McElree (1983, Exp 3), we challenge this assumption thr...
Article
The detection rate of people with neurocognitive disorder is low (20‐50%) even in highly developed countries. Early detection is a global priority (Aim 4 of WHO Global Action Plan on Dementia). Among the barriers to timely diagnosis in Europe is the migration status, which is currently increasing in prevalence, limiting access to specific assessmen...
Article
In European memory clinics, requests for assessing people with cognitive complaints in a foreign language are becoming frequent. Currently, over one million people living in EU are older migrants presenting with possible cognitive deterioration. The assessments of cognitive functions is the gateway to diagnosis, and the main tool for monitoring pro...
Chapter
To bind fragments of information together is one essential function of the brain. This integration involves different processes, such as conjunctive and relational binding. Conjunctive binding refers to the ability to integrate features into a unique representation, while relational binding refers to the ability to associate different stimuli. Here...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Long-term visual memory representations, measured by recognition performance, degrade as a function of semantic interference, and their strength is related to eye-movement responses. Even though clinical research has examined interference mechanisms in pathological cognitive aging and explored the diagnostic potential of eye-movements i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Spatial configuration learning depends on the parahippocampal place area (PPA), a functionally heterogenous area which current visuo-spatial processing models place downstream from parietal cortex and area V4 of early visual cortex (EVC). Here, we present evidence for the medial occipital longitudinal tract (MOLT), a novel white matter pathway conn...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients underperform on a range of tasks requiring semantic processing, but it is unclear whether this impairment is due to a generalised loss of semantic knowledge or to issues in accessing and selecting such information from memory. The objective of this eye-tracking visual search study was to determine whether semantic...
Preprint
In this Editorial, we outline the 'right-of-reply' policy at Cortex and explain how it differs from typical expectations at many peer-reviewed journals. Too often, the right-of-reply prompts a generic opinion piece -- a form of academic theatre -- that is focused more on reputation-management than on science. At Cortex, we do not believe that right...
Article
Full-text available
Similarity-based semantic interference (SI) hinders memory recognition. Within long-term visual memory paradigms, the more scenes (or objects) from the same semantic category are viewed, the harder it is to recognize each individual instance. A growing body of evidence shows that overt attention is intimately linked to memory. However, it is yet to...
Chapter
Forgetting is an integral part of memory that refers to the lack of availability of memories of lived events or of information previously encountered. It has been studied since 1885, when Hermann Ebbinghaus tested his memory over several years, noting that he needed less time each day to learn the whole material. Since then, several theories of for...
Article
Objective Acute administration of benzodiazepines is considered a pharmacological model of general organic anterograde amnesias (OAA). We sought to determine which type of amnesia these drugs best model by comparing the effects of diazepam with those reported in amnesiacs regarding working memory capacity (WMC), susceptibility to retroactive interf...
Article
Background Data on recruitment of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) samples are seldom reported and this issue can be an important source of research waste.AimTo describe the recruitment challenges and reasons for non-eligibility faced during a bi-centre clinical study assessing the predictive value of a neuropsychological battery of the progression...
Article
BACKGROUND Short‐term memory binding (STMB) tests assess conjunctive binding, in which participants should remember the integration of features, such as shapes (or objects) and colors, forming a unique representation in memory. In this study, we investigated two STMB paradigms: Change Detection (CD) and Free Recall (FR). OBJECTIVE To investigate t...
Article
Visual imagery typically enables us to see absent items in the mind’s eye. It plays a role in memory, day-dreaming and creativity. Since coining the terms aphantasia and hyperphantasia to describe the absence and abundance of visual imagery, we have been contacted by many thousands of people with extreme imagery abilities. Questionnaire data from 2...
Article
Objective: Studies have shown that patients with anterograde amnesia forget less episodic information after a delay if encoding is immediately followed by an unfilled period of wakeful rest. This benefit has been attributed to the reduced interference with the consolidation process. However, this account cannot directly explain improved retention i...
Article
Designing effective communication strategies for correcting vaccines misinformation requires an understanding of how the target group might react to information from different sources. The present study examined whether erroneous inferences about vaccination could be effectively corrected by a perceived credible (i.e. expert or trustworthy) source....
Preprint
Visual imagery typically enables us to see absent items in the mind’s eye. It plays a role in memory, day-dreaming and creativity. Since coining the terms aphantasia and hyperphantasia to describe the absence and abundance of visual imagery, we have been contacted by many thousands of people with extreme imagery abilities. Questionnaire data from 2...
Article
Background Temporary memory binding (TMB) has been shown to be specifically affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD) when it is assessed via free recall and titrating the task demands to equate baseline performance across patients. Methods Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) were subdivided into patients with and without cognitive impairment and co...
Article
Full-text available
Working Memory Binding (WMB) entails the integration of multiple sources of information to form and temporarily store unique representations. Information can be processed through either one (i.e., Unimodal WMB) or separate sensory modalities (i.e., Crossmodal WMB). Objective: In this study, we investigated whether Crossmodal WMB is differentially...
Article
Objectives: Whether people with Alzheimer's Disease present with accelerated long term forgetting compared to healthy controls is still debated. Typically, accelerated long term forgetting implies testing the same participants repeatedly over several delays. This testing method raises the issue of confounding repetition effects with forgetting rat...
Article
The production of pantomime is a sensible task to detect praxis deficits. It is usually assessed by presenting objects visually or by verbal command. Verbal instructions are given either by providing the name of the object (e.g., "Show me how to use a pen") or by requiring the object function (e.g., "Show me how to write"). These modes of testing a...
Article
In the published article "Extra-foveal Processing of Object Semantics Guides Early Overt Attention During Visual Search. Atten Percept Psychophys (2019). https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-019-01906-1", 1) the full name of the second author is given incorrectly.
Article
Full-text available
Eye-tracking studies using arrays of objects have demonstrated that some high-level processing of object semantics can occur in extra-foveal vision, but its role on the allocation of early overt attention is still unclear. This eye-tracking visual search study contributes novel findings by examining the role of object-to-object semantic relatedness...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Deficits in short-term memory (STM) binding are a distinguishing feature of preclinical stages leading to Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the neuroanatomical correlates of conjunctive STM binding are largely unexplored. Here we examine the possible association between the volumes of hippocampi, parahippocampal gyri, and grey matter...
Article
A new test of prose memory standadized on the Italian population
Preprint
Background and Objectives Impairment in financial management abilities, which we label “Acreemagnosia”, is an early symptom of older people experiencing cognitive decline. This article describes the development and psychometric evaluation of The Acreemagnosia Measurement (TAM) which assesses everyday financial abilities and could be applied to olde...
Poster
Full-text available
Introduction: Verbal retrieval is greater if new learning is followed by a period of wakeful rest, minimising the likelihood of retroactive interference. It is not known if this benefit extends to recollection of both gist and peripheral details, nor whether age affects the benefit of wakeful resting in either of these types of recollection. We inv...
Article
Full-text available
Older participants are slower than younger individuals in rotating objects in their minds. One possible explanation for this age effect in mental rotation (MR) relies on the different strategies used. To explore this possiblity, in the present study, younger and older participants were assessed with two MR tasks with three- (Exp.1) and two-dimensio...
Article
Objective: Patients who suffer from memory loss after an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) may also suffer from anosognosia, or unawareness of their memory loss. How we define and measure anosognosia can have critical implications for its study and clinical assessment. Commonly used measures often lack standardization and reliability checks for response...
Article
Full-text available
Age-associated slowing in mental rotation (MR) process has been documented in the literature. Particularly, the intercept of the response times function of rotation angle has been consistently found to be larger in older than in younger adults. However, the intercept represents the speed of response in 2 distinct subprocesses of MR: the initial pha...
Article
Full-text available
Two modes of internal representation, holistic and piecemeal transformation, have been reported as a means to perform mental rotation (MR) tasks. The stimulus complexity effect has been proposed as an indicator to disentangle between these two representation types. However, the complexity effect has not been fully confirmed owing to the fact that d...
Article
Objectives It has been challenging to identify cognitive markers to differentiate healthy brain aging from neurodegeneration due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that are not affected by age and education. The Short-Term Memory Binding (STMB) showed not to be affected by age or education when using the change detection paradigm. However, no previous stu...
Article
Retrieval is greater if new learning is followed by a period of wakeful rest, minimising the likelihood of retroactive interference. It is not known if this benefit extends to recollection of both gist and peripheral details, nor whether age affects the benefit of wakeful resting in either of these types of recollection. 45 younger and 40 older adu...
Article
The main objective of this study was to determine whether one of the most commonly employed pro-vaccination strategies based on the “myths vs. facts” format can be considered an effective tool to counter vaccines misinformation. Sixty parents were randomly presented with either a control message or a booklet confronting some common myths about vacc...
Article
Alzheimer's disease (AD) affects temporary memory for bound features more remarkably than for individual features. Such selective impairments manifest from presymptomatic through dementia stages via titration procedures. A recent study suggested that without titration and with high memory load the binding selectivity may disappear in people at risk...
Article
Full-text available
Recent behavioural evidence suggests that differences in the vividness of visual imagery (VVI) affect the way in which mental rotation (MR) tasks are accomplished. However, the role of VVI in MR tasks is still debated. We explored it using event-related brain potentials (ERPs) which allow to track the time course of MR processes with high temporal...
Article
The Dunning-Kruger effect (DKE) is the finding that, across a wide range of tasks, poor performers greatly overestimate their ability, whereas top performers make more accurate self-assessments. The original account of the DKE involves the idea that metacognitive insight requires the same skills as task performance, so that unskilled people perform...
Book
In all cognitive domains, neuropsychological research has advanced through the study of individual patients, and detailed observations and descriptions of their cases have been the backbone of medical and scientific reports for centuries. Cases of Amnesia describes some of the most important single case studies in the history of memory, as well as...
Article
We administered a discrepancy-based measure of anosognosia for hemiplegia (AHP) to a group of 42 right-brain-damaged (RBD) and left-brain-damaged (LBD) stroke patients with varying levels of functional motor ability. In addition to the expected anosognosic pattern of overestimation of motor function in some RBD patients, we found an equal and oppos...
Poster
Background: Recent EU consensus (Costa, et al. 2017) identifies problems of available tests used for the assessment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) such as heterogeneity across countries, lack of standardisation, and limited information about psychometric properties. The Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) and the Visual Short-Term Memory Bi...
Preprint
The Dunning-Kruger effect (DKE) is the finding that, across a wide range of tasks, poor performers greatly overestimate their ability, while top performers make more accurate self-assessments. The original account of the DKE involves the idea that metacognitive insight requires the same skills as task performance, so that unskilled people perform p...