Speeded enumeration of visual objects typically produces fast and accurate performance for up to 3 to 4 items (subitization) but slower and less accurate performance thereafter (counting). We investigated enumeration ability in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in age-matched controls. AD patients were slower overall than controls. The subitizing span was significantly reduced in AD patients compared with controls (2.3 vs 3.5 items) and counting rate was significantly slower (451 vs 349 ms/item). Error rates were similar in the two groups except at numerosity 3, when AD patients made errors but controls did not (consistent with their subitizing spans). Within the AD patient group, several aspects of performance correlated significantly with Mini-Mental State Examination scores. Together, the results provide a striking contrast with studies showing preservation of enumeration ability in normal aging.
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - May 2005|