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The effects of previous error and success in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment

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posted on 2020-01-21, 15:11 authored by TJ Crawford, S Taylor, D Mardanbegi, M Polden, Thom WilcocksonThom Wilcockson, R Killick, P Sawyer, H Gellersen, I Leroi
This work investigated in Alzheimer’s disease dementia (AD), whether the probability of making an error on a task (or a correct response) was influenced by the outcome of the previous trials. We used the antisaccade task (AST) as a model task given the emerging consensus that it provides a promising sensitive and early biological test of cognitive impairment in AD. It can be employed equally well in healthy young and old adults, and in clinical populations. This study examined eye-movements in a sample of 202 participants (42 with dementia due to AD; 65 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI); 95 control participants). The findings revealed an overall increase in the frequency of AST errors in AD and MCI compared to the control group, as predicted. The errors on the current trial increased in proportion to the number of consecutive errors on the previous trials. Interestingly, the probability of errors was reduced on the trials that followed a previously corrected error, compared to the trials where the error remained uncorrected, revealing a level of adaptive control in participants with MCI or AD dementia. There was an earlier peak in the AST distribution of the saccadic reaction times for the inhibitory errors in comparison to the correct saccades. These findings revealed that the inhibitory errors of the past have a negative effect on the future performance of healthy adults as well as people with a neurodegenerative cognitive impairment.


EPSRC project EP/M006255/1 Monitoring Of Dementia using Eye Movements (MODEM)



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Scientific Reports




Nature Research (part of Springer Nature)


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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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Dr Thom Wilcockson. Deposit date: 17 January 2020

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