Table of Contents
ISRN Neurology
Volume 2014, Article ID 694761, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Working Memory and the Enactment Effect in Early Alzheimer’s Disease

1Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2Towngate House, Towngate Close, Guiseley, West Yorkshire LS20 9PQ, UK
3LEAD UMR CNRS 5022, Pole AAFE, Esplanade Erasme, Universite de Bourgogne, 21065 Dijon, France

Received 16 September 2013; Accepted 28 November 2013; Published 28 January 2014

Academic Editors: T. Darreh-Shori and A. Di Carlo

Copyright © 2014 Lara A. Charlesworth et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examines the enactment effect in early Alzheimer’s disease using a novel working memory task. Free recall of action-object instruction sequences was measured in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and older adult controls . Instruction sequences were read out loud by the experimenter (verbal-only task) or read by the experimenter and performed by the participants (subject-performed task). In both groups and for all sequence lengths, recall was superior in the subject-performed condition than the verbal-only condition. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease showed a deficit in free recall of recently learned instruction sequences relative to older adult controls, yet both groups show a significant benefit from performing actions themselves at encoding. The subject-performed task shows promise as a tool to improve working memory in early Alzheimer’s disease.