Effect of age and memory performance on metamemory scores in a normal population
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Poor awareness of memory impairment is known to contribute to caregiver stress and cause delays in seeking medical help. The VATAmem (Visual Analogue Test for Anosognosia of Memory Impairment) is a new self-report memory questionnaire. Explicit anosognosia (lack of awareness) revealed through this questionnaire gives a score from which we measure metamemory (defined as self-awareness of memory ability). In this study, we ascertain strength of correlation between the VATAmem and the PRMQ (Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire). The study also compares scores of metamemory between two age groups (18-40 and 60+), and investigates how metamemory relates to objective memory performance (in paired associate tasks and digit span). Results show that VATAmem significantly correlated with the PRMQ. Age groups were not significantly different in metamemory. Under certain analyses, objective memory scores were found to have a significant effect on metamemory, either a rise in underestimation of memory ability, or an increased accuracy of metamemory. Replication with a larger sample and non-directional measurement of metamemory was recommended to clear up these ambiguities.