The Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test: Pictures vs. Words
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The present study tested a group of young (18-25) and old (>60) healthy adults to examine whether a pictorial superiority effect influences performance in the free and cued selective reminding test (FCSRT). 81 participants were recruited and performed the ACE-R, TOPF and FCSRT. Stimulus items for the FCSRT consisted of either 16 line drawings (in the picture form) or 16 written words (in the word form). The design was completely-between subjects and the form of test was fully counterbalanced within age groups. Each item was associated with a unique semantic category. The test was comprised of a study phase, in which participants had to identify each item in response to its unique category cue, and a test phase. The test phase consisted of three recall trials which each began with a period of free recall that was then followed by a period of cued recall where category cues were given for the items not retrieved in free recall. Scores for free recall, total recall (the sum of free and cued recall) and percentage sensitivity to cueing were calculated. Although results revealed that there was no significant difference in the average performance of younger participants between picture and word forms, older participants performed significantly better in the picture form of the test, particularly in free recall but also to a lesser extent in total recall and sensitivity to cueing. It was concluded that a picture superiority effect does affect the performance of healthy older adults in the FCSRT. This has implications for the way results of the test should be interpreted clinically.