Repetition priming in individuals with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis.


The literature on repetition priming in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is inconsistent, with some findings supporting spared priming while others do not. Several factors may explain these inconsistencies, including AD severity (e.g., dementia vs. Mild Cognitive Impairment; MCI) and priming paradigm-related characteristics. This systematic review and meta-analysis provides a quantitative summary of repetition priming in AD. We examined the between-group standard mean difference comparing repetition priming in AD dementia or amnestic MCI (aMCI; presumably due to AD) to controls. Thirty-two studies were selected, including 590 individuals with AD dementia, 267 individuals with amnestic MCI, and 703 controls. Our results indicated that both individuals with aMCI and AD dementia perform worse on repetition priming tasks than cognitively older adults. Paradigm-related moderators suggested that the effect size between studies comparing the combined aMCI or AD dementia group to cognitively healthy older adults was the highest for paradigms that required participants to produce, rather than identify, primes during the test phase. Our results further suggested that priming in AD is impaired for both conceptual and perceptual priming tasks. Lastly, while our results suggested that priming in AD is impaired for priming tasks that require deep processing, we were unable to draw firm conclusions about whether priming is less impaired in aMCI or AD dementia for paradigms that require shallow processing.

In: Neuropsychology Review, 32, 228–246