Aging and temporal order memory: A comparison of direct and indirect measures

Haya Blachstein, Yoram Greenstein, Eli Vakil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study is to compare the effect of aging on direct and indirect measures of temporal order memory, derived from the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT). The spontaneous order in which the list was recalled in Trial 5 served as the indirect measure, and the explicit reordering of the words into their original order of presentation (i.e., Trial 10) served as the direct measure. Based on previously reported norms (n=528) on the Rey AVLT, the effects of age (20-91 years) on the two measures of temporal order were analyzed. The results demonstrated that the direct measure was much more sensitive to the effect of age than the indirect measure. Furthermore, the direct measure was more significantly correlated with other verbal memory measures derived from the Rey AVLT. These results are consistent with studies that have documented that the frontal lobes, implicated in temporal memory, show the most significant degenerative changes over the years. As a result, the effortful and direct cognitive tasks in general and particularly in memory are more vulnerable to the effects of aging. These results lend further support to the dissociation between direct and indirect measures of memory in older adults. These temporal order measures, which are not usually assessed in standard batteries, could now be derived from a standard, frequently used test (i.e., Rey AVLT) and increase its diagnostic value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Aging
  • Memory development
  • Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test
  • Temporal order


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