Declarative memory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Declarative Memory consists of memory for events (episodic memory) and facts (semantic memory). Methods to test declarative memory are key in investigating effects of potential cognition-enhancing substances--medicinal drugs or nutrients. A number of cognitive performance tests assessing declarative episodic memory tapping verbal learning, logical memory, pattern recognition memory, and paired associates learning are described. These tests have been used as outcome variables in 34 studies in humans that have been described in the literature in the past 10 years. Also, the use of episodic tests in animal research is discussed also in relation to the drug effects in these tasks. The results show that nutritional supplementation of polyunsaturated fatty acids has been investigated most abundantly and, in a number of cases, but not all, show indications of positive effects on declarative memory, more so in elderly than in young subjects. Studies investigating effects of registered anti-Alzheimer drugs, cholinesterase inhibitors in mild cognitive impairment, show positive and negative effects on declarative memory. Studies mainly carried out in healthy volunteers investigating the effects of acute dopamine stimulation indicate enhanced memory consolidation as manifested specifically by better delayed recall, especially at time points long after learning and more so when drug is administered after learning and if word lists are longer. The animal studies reveal a different picture with respect to the effects of different drugs on memory performance. This suggests that at least for episodic memory tasks, the translational value is rather poor. For the human studies, detailed parameters of the compositions of word lists for declarative memory tests are discussed and it is concluded that tailored adaptations of tests to fit the hypothesis under study, rather than "off-the-shelf" use of existing tests, are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Pages215-36
Number of pages22
Volume228
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain
  • Cognition
  • Cognition Disorders
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Memory Disorders
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nootropic Agents
  • Translational Medical Research

Cite this

Riedel, W. J., & Blokland, A. (2015). Declarative memory. In Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology (Vol. 228, pp. 215-36) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16522-6_7