Prospective Memory in Parkinson Disease Across Laboratory and Self-Reported Everyday Performance

Erin R. Foster, Mark A. McDaniel, Grega Repovŝ, Tamara Hershey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Prospective memory is a complex cognitive construct ubiquitous in everyday life that is thought to sometimes rely on executive skills commonly affected by Parkinson's disease (PD). The present study investigated the effect of PD on prospective memory tasks with varying demand on executive control processes, namely on the amount of strategic attentional monitoring required for intention retrieval. Individuals with PD but without dementia and healthy adults performed laboratory event-based prospective memory tasks that varied in whether strategic attentional monitoring (nonfocal condition) or spontaneous processes (focal condition) were primarily involved in intention retrieval. Participants also completed a questionnaire rating their frequency of prospective memory failures in everyday life for both self-cued and environment-cued tasks. PD participants performed worse than non-PD participants in the nonfocal, but not focal, condition of the laboratory task. They also reported more everyday failures than non-PD participants for self-cued, but not environment-cued, prospective memory tasks. Thus, nondemented individuals with PD are preferentially impaired on prospective memory tasks for which higher levels of executive control are needed to support intention retrieval. This pattern is consistent across laboratory and reported real-world performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-358
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009


  • attention
  • cues
  • executive function
  • intention
  • parkinsonian disorders
  • short term memory


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