Becky R. Horst, Lindsay S. Nagamatsu

Becky R. Horst

Title of Presentation:
Mind over matter: Memory self-efficacy scores predict associative memory performance beyond traditional physiological and cognitive variables, a pilot study

Name of Institution:
Neuroscience, Western University, Ontario, Canada
School of Kinesiology, Western University, Ontario, Canada

Oral Presentation

Memory performance is a critical area of concern for many older adults, as declines in performance have been linked to progression of dementia. Evidence shows that associative memory performance, one’s ability to remember connections between distinct items, is specifically related to conversion towards dementia. Yet, memory performance is a complex construct, and recognizing influential variables is important to improve performance. Multiple variables such as functional activations, structural volumes, global cognition and memory self- efficacy have been seen to individually influence performance. However, it is unknown which variable provides the greatest predictive value towards memory performance. Our study aimed to investigate if psychological processes supersede physiological factors. Using a cross-sectional design, community dwelling older women with probable Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) were asked to evaluate their memory self-efficacy using the Multifactorial Memory Questionnaire (MMQ) in addition to standardized cognitive tests. Using a 3T SIEMENS scanner, structural imaging and fMRI data, during an associative-memory task, was obtained. Multiple linear regression models were constructed for memory performance outcomes in relation to MSE, functional activation, and global cognitive status; co-varying for age, physical activity level, and neural structural differences. Our models found that the memory self-efficacy was the strongest measure in accounting for variance in performance on an associative memory task beyond structural differences, global cognition, and functional activations. Our results indicate memory self-efficacy is predictive of performance regardless of physiological differences. These findings have the potential to progress into a longitudinal study of observing the relationship of memory self-efficacy modification, brain health and cognition.

Acknowledgement: Supported by NSERC