Photo memory tests are a useful tool for helping to spot problems in memory and to determine how much your brain processes information, new research shows.
Key points:Scientists from the University of New South Wales and the University, of Queensland say they are testing the memory test as a tool to help detect memory loss after strokeA research team led by Dr Jennifer Lea, PhD, from the Department of Neurobiology at the University says the memory tests work on two fronts:Firstly, they look at how long the person remembers things that happened in the past.
The other test, called the spatial memory test, looks at how well the person can remember the locations of objects in their environment.
This is useful in assessing the memory of someone with dementia who has trouble remembering their surroundings.
The researchers say this is a very useful tool in the clinical trial to see if it helps people with dementia to retain their memories.
Dr Lea said it was a very interesting study.
“The memory test is a good example of how a memory test can be used as a screening tool in memory recovery,” she said.
“We were really interested in what happens in the brain during these tasks and what we were finding was that the brain is not as well organized as we might expect, and the brain’s ability to retain information in the hippocampus is not that good.”
This means that you don’t really have a picture of what is going on in the cerebral cortex when people are having a memory impairment.
“That’s the problem we want to address, is how to develop a technique that allows us to study how the brain works when memory impairment is present, and to then see if we can develop a treatment that works.”
Dr Lee said there were different ways people could test their memory.
“One of the ways is to use a simple memory test where you’re simply showing the person a picture,” she explained.
“You then ask them to think about the picture in their mind.
Then you ask them a series of questions, such as, ‘How many places do you remember?’ or ‘How long have you seen the picture?’.”
Dr Jennifer Leae, PhD at the Department, of Neurosciences, at the Univ of Queensland.
Dr Jennifer says the study looked at how the person performed on a simple task.
“People often look at a picture in a drawer, and they don’t remember it for very long,” she says.
“So we wanted to find out how well they could remember things that they’d seen in the last couple of days.”
The study used a series to assess how well people were able to remember things they’d only seen a week or so ago, and how long they had been able to recall them.
The results showed the people with memory impairment who were tested for a week were better at remembering things they hadn’t seen in two weeks.
The study looked specifically at spatial memory and also looked at memory for pictures.
“It’s interesting because people can’t remember the location of the objects in the picture,” Dr Lea explained.
Dr Laura Williams, the University’s senior research scientist in cognitive neuroscience, said people were also able to better remember pictures they had only seen the week before.
“When we asked people to think of a picture, we used their previous knowledge of the pictures that they had seen,” Dr Williams said.
In contrast, people were not as good at remembering the locations where they had not seen the pictures in the previous week.
Dr Williams said people could also be better at recalling locations they had visited in the week preceding the memory task.
People who were shown pictures they hadn, had not, or could not remember.
“They were very good at recalling these locations,” Dr Simon said.
Dr Simon said the findings had important implications for memory loss and dementia research.
“These are really interesting results, and that really means that memory loss is a problem that is under-recognised, and this study provides a really nice way of finding out whether or not people with cognitive impairment have a problem with memory, or not,” he said.