15 Scopus citations


Spatial Span subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale has been viewed as an indicator of working memory and visuospatial processing. The current study examined the impact of cognitive impairment and its severity on Spatial Span performance. A neuropsychological battery including Spatial Span was administered to 538 individuals (65-89) who were grouped by consensus into Alzheimer's disease, Vascular Dementia, Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment, Non-Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and cognitively normal. Increase in level of impairment resulted in a decrease in Spatial Span Total Score. A weak relationship between age and Spatial Span Total Score was found. Spatial Span Forward remains relatively stable regardless of level of impairment. Spatial Span Backward was more sensitive to severity. No significant differences were found between individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and those with Vascular Dementia suggesting similar deficit patterns in the cognitive abilities measured by the Spatial Span. Mild Cognitive Impairment groups and normals did not differ suggesting visuospatial processes are not affected early in the dementing process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Aging
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Dementia
  • Spatial span
  • Visuospatial processes


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